K9 officer John Morris wins ‘Cop of the Year’ honors

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Officer John Morris (right) accepts his 'Cop of the Year' award at Friday night's dinner.
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Officer John Morris (right) accepts his ‘Cop of the Year’ award at Friday night’s dinner.

When a suspect was caught on Harrison Avenue last year, Riverhead police officer John Morris found the weapon. When the other East End towns or the county police came calling for help, Mr. Morris responded, helping to make “numerous arrests,” according to his fellow officers.

“Without a doubt … he’s a professional for us and he shines as a Riverhead cop,” said police officer Dennis Cavanagh.

Mr. Morris won the Police Benevolent Association’s “Cop of the Year” award during the organization’s annual installation dinner at the Suffolk Theater Friday night.

A veteran of the force for more than a decade, Mr. Morris is a member of one of two K9 units in Riverhead Town. Since Riverhead is the only town department with multiple police dogs available, Mr. Morris helps to assist other towns’ investigations when state police or the Sheriff’s Office aren’t available.

His dedication is what makes him “stand out as a leader among the men and women of the Riverhead Police Department,” said Town Supervisor Sean Walter.

“Officer Morris exemplifies what it means to be a Riverhead police officer,” Mr. Walter said.

Councilman James Wooten, a former police officer and former president of the PBA, also praised Mr. Morris’ work ethic.

“To do your job and do it well, you have to be dedicated,” Mr. Wooten said. “That’s what you do, John. And you do it well.”

Several other officers were also honored at the PBA’s dinner.

Officer Ed Carey earned the “Man of the Year” award for helping to support his department in their time of need when two members of the force — Robert Boden and Ben Goodale — died suddenly in October, just a week apart.

Mr. Carey, a fire commissioner with the Riverhead Fire Department, helped organize the processions for both men.

“When the funerals came, this guy stepped up,” Mr. Cavanagh said while presenting the award.

Mr. Cavanagh himself won a special “President’s Award” at the event for his efforts for the department. Former officer Richard Von Voight was also honored for his years of service to the PBA, and accepted the award with his son, David, who joined the town police department in December 2012.

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