FARMINGTON — Patrolman Darin Gilbert was recently named the 2013 employee of the year for the Farmington Police Department.
Sgt. Edward Hastings IV was selected as the department’s employee of the quarter for the fall of 2013.
The employee of the year award is reserved for a “full-time employee who stands well above their peers in the performance of their duties and contributes to the mission” of the department, police Chief Jack Peck said in a release.
During the past year, five officers were hired for the department. Gilbert, as lead field training officer, was tasked with teaching them a variety of skills which these new officers would need, he said.
“This training is invaluable and something every new officer will remember for the rest of their career,” Peck said.
Gilbert trained each officer for a minimum of 10 weeks, was in charge of the department’s annual physical agility testing and served as the defensive tactics instructor.
Over the past year, the defensive tactics program was expanded, Peck said. Instruction was provided for all officers on a quarterly basis.
“Your overall dedication, professionalism and commitment to our department helps the Farmington Police Department meet its mission,” Peck said of Gilbert.
A strong work ethic, investigative skills and good old-fashioned police work led Sgt. Hastings to “personally stop some of the flow of prescription drugs and heroin from poisoning our community,” Peck said of his selection as employee of the quarter.
It was hard work and determination that “resulted in a search warrant and subsequent arrest in September of a female selling prescription pills and heroin out of her apartment in Farmington,” Peck said.
Through the investigation, Hastings found the boyfriend of the woman was also selling heroin and obtained a warrant for his arrest. He was apprehended in a motel in Auburn.
The investigation was a collaborative effort with the Wilton and Auburn police departments.
Peck also acknowledged Hastings’ investigative skills which led to the court convictions of four people in December for their roles in the overdose death of Marilyn Rider.
“These individuals were selling prescription opiates to members of our community,” Peck said of the sentencing of those responsible for her death. “If not for your investigative skills, these individuals may never have been brought to justice.”
Both officers were credited with helping the department meet its mission, which is “to create a feeling of safety for the people within the Town of Farmington,” Peck said.