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 road officer are selected from the nominations garnered from within the Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
At a ceremony held on January 17th in the Commissioner's Courtroom at the Hamilton County Judicial Center in Noblesville, Prosecuting Attorney Buckingham said, "it is never easy to select the recipients of this award, not because of a dearth of candidates, but rather because of the difficulty in selecting just one recipient in each category from the many viable candidates within the county. This is due to the fact that Hamilton County law enforcement agencies strive to hire the best candidates, train them well, and then demand professionalism and high achievement from their officers."
Prosecutor Buckingham recognized Patrolman Dave M. Lindenschmidt of the Noblesville Police Department as the Road Officer of the Year for 2016, pictured between Prosecutor Buckingham and Noblesville Police Chief Kevin Jowitt. One nominating submission flatly stated that Ptlm. Lindenschmidt "is just a phenomenal cop." His career history speaks to that. A 2002 graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington, Officer Lindenschmidt enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and was trained as an Infantry Machine Gunner. He deployed to Iraq, having served in Fallujah, and returned to the region a few years later when he patrolled near the Syrian border. He joined the Noblesville Police Department in August 2010. Beyond being a pleasure to work with and being inquisitive with the prosecutors, a jury in 2016 could tell that Ptlm. Lindenschmidt genuinely wants to help people in the community and keep them safe.
This year, Prosecutor Buckingham recognized Detective Sergeant Nancy Zellers of the Carmel Police Department as Investigator of the Year for 2016, pictured between Prosecutor Buckingham and Carmel Police Chief Tim Green. As an investigator and a supervisor, Det. Sgt. Zellers leads the sex crimes / child abuse unit within the Carmel Police Department, but, due to circumstances outside her control, she had to plow forward on her own for quite a bit of 2016. Several particular cases stuck out in 2016, including a child abuse and neglect case: were it not for Det. Sgt. Zellers' involvement, diligence, and tenacity for justice, a severely malnourished child might not have been rescued and made safe. A thirty-year veteran of law enforcement with most of that time as a detective, Det. Sgt. Zellers also has her degree from Indiana University in Bloomington.
"The law enforcement officers in Hamilton County are collectively amongst the finest in the country," Prosecutor Buckingham said.