Royal Oak Honors Community Members with Awards (video)

Royal Oak Honors Community Members with Awards (video)essential

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Oct. 22, 2014)

Stepping out of one’s comfort zone can be difficult, but one Royal Oak Police Sergeant’s willingness to do just that earned him the Police Officer of the Year Award at the 2014 Royal Oak Community Awards. Sgt. Eric Baroky was among honorees from many aspects of community life that was honored at the Oct. 21 event. This was the 67th year the awards have been held.

Sgt. Baroky is a tactical expert and trainer with the OakTac SWAT team who puts in his own time helping other officers at the range. While taking his work very seriously, he also grew in sensitivity as he took on a special task for the department in 2013.

Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue presented Sgt. Baroky with his award, stating “He is a very tactically-oriented officer, but what sets him apart is his willingness to try new things to help him develop himself as a police officer and leader in the department. In 2013, Eric agreed to work in sidebar012stairsthe schools as the school liaison officer. This type of work was very different from the SWAT team and required a very different skillset. Although he was a little out of his comfort zone, Eric accepted the challenge and did a great job in the school. He is a better officer and supervisor for that experience.”

The winner of the Firefighter of the Year Award was also honored for his commitment to training and helping others. Sean Wilson was presented his award by Fire Chief Chuck Thomas, who recognized him for efforts to do demonstrations at the fire department’s open house, and classes he teaches that help firefighters navigate dangerous situations, and how to efficiently break into locked buildings for firefighting purposes.

“Anyone I work with could be standing in my spot to receive this award tonight as far as I am concerned,” Wilson said. “It is an act of stoicism, faith and courage at 8:05 every morning when we go downstairs for a cup of coffee and to get our truck assignments, because we are acknowledging gallowaycollens1either consciously or tacitly that anything that comes in over the next 23 hours and 55 minutes in the City of Royal Oak is going to be met and mitigated by the people who are about to get those trucks.”

In addition to those who keep the community safe, the awards honored good citizens and business development in the city. The Albert J. Carter family won the Community Spirit Award, with members of the Royal Oak Optimist Club singing their praises. Carter also works for the Royal Oak Police Department, and his wife and children are all highly involved in the community. Wife Yvonne does religious outreach with St. Marys. Sons Anthony, Austin, Alan and AJ are all “fine young men already recognized for their outstanding achievements.” Carol Hennesy described the Carter family as “a loving caring family, working together to help whoever needs it.” This is the first time an entire family was graced with this honor.

Citizen of the Year went to Community Engagement Specialist Judy Davids. Davids joined the City of Royal Oak after her job as editor of was eliminated. “Judy is both an advocate for the City and the people she serves,” said Rev. John Miller who presented the award. Sean O’Connell Jim Shaffer KELLER ad blackcontributed a quote, saying “Judy extends her commitment to the Royal Oak community beyond the limits of the walls of her office in City Hall. Her work with FEMA on behalf of Royal Oak’s flood victims took her beyond the desk to knocking on doors and listening compassionately to people sharing their stories.”

Businesses that invested in beautifying their properties were honored included Bistro 82, Co. 512, Motor City Carpet and Traffic, while the business person of the year was Carrie O’Neal. Residents at 2007 Vinsetta Blvd. were honored for their beautification efforts as well.

Educators Patty Fitzpatrick, Kerry Derminer, Patricia O’Leary-Dunn and Karen Kaiser were honored and a new Youth Achievement Award was presented to Jarod Clark, a young man who is endless busy with drama club, film making and community service.

The Royal Oak Community Awards are put on the Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce, and this year’s presenting sponsor was Matthews Hardgreaves Chevorlet. Learn mre about the Chamber at

To learn more about the honorees, see the video below:

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