Each year, Prosecuting Attorney D. Lee Buckingham II recognizes two officers in honor of each Hamilton County officer’s distinguished service to the community and the pursuit of justice. One investigator (usually holding an assignment as a detective) and one patrol officer are selected from the nominations garnered from within the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
At a ceremony held on December 20th in the Commissioner’s Courtroom at the Hamilton County Judicial Center in Noblesville, Prosecuting Attorney Buckingham (photo, second from right) spoke before a gathered crowd of law enforcement officers, prosecutor’s office staff, members of the awardees’ families. Hamilton County and its communities have consistently been recognized among the safest places to work, live, and raise a family. This has been all the more remarkable when during the last twelve years the county has added almost 85,000 people to its population – a number that would by itself be in the top twenty counties in Indiana by population.
Citing the analysis conducted by SafeWise, Prosecutor Buckingham expressed, “Year after year, Hamilton County has remained at or near the top of the list of safest places in the entire state of Indiana." He explained, “There is one thing that has not changed: That is the fact that Hamilton County generally has very high standards for their law enforcement officers and high-quality individuals who live up to those standards serving most of those roles.”
Prosecutor Buckingham recognized Sergeant Wade Burtron (photo, second from left) of the Westfield Police Department and Officer Jensen Marie Fionda (photo, left) of the Cicero Police Department for their exemplary work throughout the year. Sergeant Burtron has served the City of Westfield as a police officer for six years, relying upon his degree from St. Joseph’s College in his work. Sergeant Burtron distinguished himself through his eagerness to continue to learn and grow as an officer and his detailed, well-written reports. Officer Fionda, a two-and-a-half-year veteran of the Cicero Police Department, graduated from Ball State University and distinguished herself with diligent attention to detail. In her cases Officer Fionda is always willing to listen, learn, and go above and beyond to get it right.
Prosecutor Buckingham recognized Detective Gregory Loveall (photo, right) of the Carmel Police Department for his exemplary work throughout the year. A graduate of Central Bible College in Missouri, Detective Loveall has served as a police officer in the City of Carmel for fifteen years with two years of prior experience with the Los Angeles Police Department. Detective Loveall distinguished himself with efforts in several cases, including the murder of Francis Kelly in January 2021, which culminated in the seven-day jury trial of one of the three co-defendants in August 2022.
Lee Buckingham expressed, “I am very thankful that I have been able to spend the last twelve years in a rewarding position that is always interesting and enables me to work with the fine law enforcement of Hamilton County and the dedicated staff of professionals at the HCPAO to help keep Hamilton County a safe and wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.”