A veteran Smithfield police officer has received the department’s top honor.
Tuesday night, Detective Sergeant Dale Wood was recognized by the Smithfield Town Council as the 2018 Officer of the Year. Wood was first hired in November 2000 and is currently a member of the department’s Investigation Division. Prior to joining the Smithfield Police Department, Sgt. Wood worked with the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office for 8 years and with the Benson Police Department for two years.
He began work in Smithfield as a Patrol Officer and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Later, he was promoted to Investigations and has been in the division since.
“Sgt. Wood has worked very hard in Investigations and handled many difficult cases during his tenure in law enforcement,” Police Chief Keith Powell told council members during the presentation. “He is always very professional with the victims he deals with on a daily basis. Sgt. Wood is always willing to help new recruits with issues that arise with difficult cases being investigated. Sgt. Wood is a major asset to the Smithfield Police Department and the Town of Smithfield.”
“I feel that the leadership and dedication Sgt. Wood has shown to the community during his tenure is well deserving of this award,” Mayor Pro Tem Travis Scott told JoCoReport. “I also think it’s speaks loudly that he was selected among such a hard working group of men & women, by his coworkers. Sgt. Wood remains dedicated to keeping the public safe regardless of the time of day.”
Town Manager Mike Scott was the Smithfield Police Chief until 2016 and worked directly with Dale Wood. “Sergeant Wood is one of the finest investigators I have had the pleasure to work with. His thorough, methodical, and dedicated approach and his stick-to-itiveness, has lead the investigative team under his command to solve numerous felony and violent crimes throughout the years and has helped many families find justice that they may not have otherwise realized without his leadership. The Officer of the Year award presented last Tuesday during the Council Meeting, was well deserved and well earned.”
Police employees are nominated for Officer of the Year by secret ballot. Each member of the department completes a ballot and the officer with the most votes is reviewed by a recognition committee consisting of the Patrol Captain and department Lieutenants. The committee then recommends the Officer of the Year to the Police Chief, who makes the final determination.
Sgt. Wood plans to retire in one year.