SIDNEY — Sidney Police Officer Nathan Wisniewski has been named Sidney Police Department’s 2021 Officer of the Year.
Mayor Mike Barhorst also proclaimed May 9-15, 2021, to be Police Week in the city of Sidney during the Monday evening hybrid-style Sidney City Council meeting.
Police Chief Will Balling presented Wisniewski with the Officer of the Year honor in conjunction with the handing out life saving awards to Wisniewski and six other officers and two civilians
Balling said Wisniewski was selected for the honor by a committee of his peers after he put his life on the line on Feb. 13, 2021, to save someone in a house fire. The selection committee is comprised of all former Officers of the Year.
Had Wisniewski not climbed up onto the snow-covered roof of the home, Balling said, where the fire could have easily engulfed the roof space under his feet, weakened the structure, and collapsed, there is no doubt the trapped individual would not have survived the fire. Balling said Wisniewski put himself at risk to find the person.
Wisniewski “showed calmness in his instructions to Michael (the person rescued),” Balling said. “Officer Wisniewski performed under hazardous circumstances at great risk to his or her safety [and] has saved a person from death or great bodily harm. He will be awarded the Medal of Valor. This is the first time our department has issued this award, and it is one of the highest awards that can be received.”
Balling also recognized Wisniewski’s actions in a second house fire, during which he rescued an elderly couple around the same time frame. His actions in June and December 2020 were also recognized for providing emergency help to two individuals.
Wisniewski thanked and recognized his fellow officers, and his wife and parents, for their support.
The other police officers honored with the Life Saving Award for their actions in the same structure fire included Nick Zimmer, John Curtis, Brad Anderson, Joe Kennedy, James Luana and Sgt. Kevin Macke.
Macke expressed his pride and appreciation for the work of his team.
Balling also recognized citizens Anastasia Reed, Rosalyn Cunningham and RyLeigh Clark,who will also be presented with a plaque of appreciation for their quick thinking and willingness to make a difference during that emergency.
All were honored with rounds of applause and thank yous from council members and Randy Rose, chair of the Non-Traditional Vehicle Committee, who attended virtually to speak on that issue.
In other business, City Council went into an executive session to to prepare for negotiations or bargaining sessions with a public employees. Council also held a special meeting immediately prior the regular meeting Monday to hold an executive session to discuss the employment of a public employee/official. No action was taken by council members after they emerged from either session.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.