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Chief Hensel awarded Meritorious Service Medal

Police Chief Steve Hensel, left, is presented with the Meritorious Service Medal by Dr. Jay Gilbert, who recently served as chairperson of the Crete Civil Service Commission. In back are Human Resources Director Wendy Thomas and City Administrator Tom Ourada.

Steven B. Hensel has served the City of Crete as Chief of Police since his appointment in December of 1994 and has announced his retirement at the end of 2022. 

City Administrator Tom Ourada awarded Hensel with the Meritorious Service Medal in a presentation at the conclusion of service awards to 13 employees at the city’s Employee Recognition Dinner on Thursday, June 30 at The 1206 in downtown Crete. A special guest, Hensel’s friend and former Crete Civil Service Commission Chairperson Dr. Jay Gilbert, was invited to officially present the medal.

The Meritorious Service Medal from the Crete Police Department is awarded by the chief or city administrator “for meritorious service in the line of duty not meeting the requirements of proceeding awards. May also be presented as a retirement award to employees upon retirement after 20 years of honorable service with the City.” 

Police Chief Steve Hensel is pictured with members of his department at the city’s Employee Recognition Dinner on June 30 at The 1206 in downtown Crete. From left: Code Enforcement Officer David Paxton, Sgt. Ron Koch, Officer Will DeHart, Officer Dawn Jonas, Chief Hensel, Officer Audrey Arbuckle, Sgt. Chad Menagh, Officer Alex Sawtelle, Sgt. Lincoln Morehouse, Sgt. Jon Pucket.
Hensel’s Meritorious Service Award certificate also reads that during his tenure “he has been more than a police chief, he has been a community leader, a calming entity when needed, balancing the needs of the department with the needs of the City and the community for twenty-eight years. He has been an asset to other department heads, a resource to outside organizations, and a friend to all people he has interacted with. As this honor reflects, he has done far more than just show up and put in twenty-eight years, he has maximized every day and is leaving a legacy that will be difficult to follow.”

Ourada also announced that a pair of handcuffs will be dedicated to Chief Hensel and displayed at the Crete Police Station in his honor. A mock-up of that display was given to Hensel as a special token during Thursday’s presentation.

Hensel received a standing ovation and congratulations from the employees and guests assembled, as well as the officers and members of his department who were able to be present.