City News | City of Melbourne, FL
On March 30, 2022, the Melbourne Police Department held its annual awards ceremony to recognize and celebrate police officers, communications officers and civilian employees for their outstanding performance, dedication, courage and professionalism. Within these groups, the department also honored officers and personnel who distinguished themselves among these exceptional honorees. The winners of these prestigious awards in 2021 are as follows:
Officer of the Year: Detective Johnny Bynum
Detective Bynum has been with the Melbourne Police Department for over 26 years, including 16 years in the Criminal Investigations Division where he has investigated nearly 2,000 cases. Over the years he has built an impeccable reputation in Brevard County’s law enforcement community and is known for his hard work ethic and dedication to the people of Melbourne. Highlights from his exemplary work in 2021:
- He served as an investigator for the Domestic Violence Unit, reviewing all domestic violence complaints received by the agency (an average of 225 per month) and reviewing them for appropriate follow-up.
- He worked with prosecutors to improve the filing and sentencing of specific cases. In 2021, he formally accepted 50 of those cases and settled half of them with arrests. He was also able to resolve an additional 22 of those cases with a 94% resolution rate.
- He uncovered the true identity of a domestic violence suspect who had been living under a false identity for months and had used multiple aliases over the past 10 years. He determined that the subject was a parolee from New York with active warrants for armed robbery and was also a suspect in the 2020 murder of his girlfriend in New York City. Det. Bynum has coordinated with the NYPD, the NY Department of Corrections and the US Marshals Service to locate the suspect the NYPD has been looking for for 10 years.
- He helped solve two cold cases — one in 2015 that required him to travel to multiple locations across the state to interview detained witnesses, and one in 1980 that brought closure to the family of a woman who died before 42 years had disappeared.
Communications Officer of the Year: Ashleigh Mulla
Ashleigh Mulla was recognized for her positive attitude, professional demeanor and excellent work ethic. In 2021, she did an excellent job on the radio while having three consecutive high-priority calls during training. She also went above and beyond her duties to find the owner of a found dog. She produces a monthly newsletter for the communications center staff and has recently become a communications training officer, training new staff through all stages of training.
Employee of the Year: Brandy Orr
Brandy Orr recently joined the department and has learned her new position with minimal assistance. In 2021, she was the department’s sole payroll clerk and took continuing education courses in FMLA and HR legal matters—all while maintaining a workload designed for two professionals. She later hired a new payroll assistant while maintaining a steady work pace and attention to detail.
Detective Award of Excellence: Eric Gould
In 2021, Detective Eric Gould investigated numerous high-profile cases that led to the arrests of several dangerous criminals. This included an undercover operation involving a man and woman who had lured an elderly victim into a violent home invasion via an Internet website known for prostitution activities. His work in 2021 resulted in the arrest of a subject found in direct violation of a risk protection order in possession of a short-barreled shotgun and 4,400 rounds of ammunition. He also located and worked with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office to apprehend a man suspected of viciously assaulting a Melbourne Police officer, resulting in serious injury.
Field Training Officer’s Award of Excellence: Joseph Kravtzoff
Detective Joseph Kravtzoff is known for his dedication to the training session, his exceptional knowledge and skills, and for always displaying the highest level of professionalism. In 2021 he trained five officers for a total of six months. On two occasions he was called upon to train officers at a first phase level. This is typically a more difficult phase of training and is designed to train inexperienced police officers. Detective Kravtzoff has been praised for always putting the needs of the trainees first and looking for ways to improve their skills.
Supervisor Award of Excellence: Daniel Desormier
Sergeant Daniel Desormier heads the Traffic Enforcement Unit (TEU). The EUV may have eight digits; However, for most of 2021 it was manned by just four people. Despite this deficiency, Sgt. Desormier maintained a positive, doable attitude, kept up with the demands of the position and did a great job of keeping the team motivated and productive. Under his leadership, the TEU responded to 935 road accidents in 2021, issued 2,841 traffic citations and 865 written warnings, and investigated 12 road homicides. He also developed 27 incident action plans for city and third-party events and led the Crossing Guard program.
Pictured left to right: Chief David Gillespie, Detective Johnny Bynum, Administrative Assistant II Brandy Orr, Communications Officer III Ashleigh Mulla.