Tuesday night, the Smithfield Police Department presented the 2017 Officer of the Year Award to Officer Joey Wheeler.
Wheeler was presented the award by Smithfield Mayor Andy Moore and Police Chief Keith Powell during the monthly town council meeting at the Smithfield Town Hall.
The award is given annually to the officer who shows great professionalism, community service, and dedication to the police department and Town of Smithfield.
“I have had the pleasure of working with Joey Wheeler since coming to Smithfield,” said Smithfield Town Manager Michael Scott, the town’s former police chief. “Officer Wheeler has worked in several positions and has excelled at each one. He is dedicated servant of the Town and works extremely hard to achieve justice for crime victims throughout the area. His dedication and commitment to Smithfield is beyond reproach. I have found him to be one of the most caring and committed officers I have had the pleasure to work with in my over thirty years of law enforcement and public service. This award could not be more deserved.”
Chief Powell said, “He is a very dedicated officer and does an outstanding job.”
Wheeler was raised on a farm in Johnston County. A former Marine, he is a current member of the NC National Guard 30th Armored Brigade. He has 4 children. Three still live at home while his oldest son is in the Marine Corps.
The Officer of the Year Award is voted on by all members of the police department by anonymous votes. The supervisors then take the top nominees and together vote for the most deserving officer based on a preselected guideline.
Officer Wheeler has been with the Town of Smithfield 10 years. The first two years he was a code enforcement officer. He has been with the police department the last 8 years. Wheeler holds a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice Studies from Mount Olive College. He has also obtained his Advanced Law Enforcement Certification. He has worked in the Patrol Division and is currently assigned to the Support Services Division.
In his spare time, Officer Wheeler enjoys spending time with his family, camping and fishing.