City Manager Leavegood; stated that he has the pleasure of presenting a service award to someone who first turned their application for employment on November, 10th, 1986 as an auxiliary police officer. He was hired on full time on October 12th, 1987 as a police officer at an annual salary of $13,500.
William “Art” Bodenheimer served as a K-9 Officer, was promoted to corporal in 1994; sergeant in 1999; lieutenant in 2000; and has served as the City of Lake Alfred’s Police Chief since 2004. His personnel file is filled with letters of commendation spanning three decades and he has provided not only outstanding leadership to the police department in the six years that I have worked with him but also outstanding police work.
Art is what I like to call a “working chief” partly by necessity from having a smaller department but also from personal work ethic. Art works cases side by side with his fellow officers; performing traffic stops, making arrests, and serving warrants. Anytime I tune into the police channel, regardless of the time of day, chances are it won’t be long before I hear him on the radio.
As Sheriff Grady Judd has pointed out to me before, Lake Alfred is like “Mayberry.” I like to amend that to “Mayberry but with 20,000 cars a day passing through it.” Despite, our size of only 12 sworn officers we had over 5,331 (14.6 calls for service a day) calls for service last year alone. A part of our continued success is Art’s ability to build and maintain strong relationships with neighboring agencies and the Sheriff’s office; sharing information and resources and partnering on investigations that impact multiple agencies.
As the Chief he is also responsible for working on the department’s budget, appropriating equipment, grant work, and to meet state and federal audit standards. Outside of the department, Art maintains a strong leadership role in the Polk County Police Chief Association as well as the State of Florida Police Chief Association and has received awards for his efforts with the Teen Safe Driving Coalition and Students Against Destructive Decisions.
As a token of my appreciation for his many years of outstanding service and to commemorate this milestone I’d like to present him with a reproduction of a Colt Single Action Army. The 1873 model P, also known as the peacemaker, has its place in history as the gun that “won the west.” Favored by settlers, cattleman, outlaws and lawman alike it today stands as a symbol for American innovation, adaptability and perseverance. These traits well represent your service and continued career here in Lake Alfred and I hope it serves as an inspiration in the years to come and a fond remembrance for your many years of service and dedication when you’re finally ready to hang up your spurs (after 40 years of service).
Police Chief Bodenheimer stated it has been a pleasure to work for the City and the support has been great. He recounted his first day on the job. He thanked God, his family, and the officers for their support.
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