On May 7, the Homewood Police Department at its Ninth Annual Awards Ceremony held at Rosewood Hall, honored both officers and citizens for their help in fighting crime within the city of Homewood. The event is held to recognize the top officers and citizens of the year.
Police Chief Jim Roberson awarded the Chief’s Award to Sgt. Juan Rodriquez for heading the investigation into the murder of a mother and her sons who were found slain inside their apartment on December 14. Chief Roberson said by using excellent investigating techniques, Rodriquez was able to quickly find the suspect, Anna Patricia Dominguez, who eventually was charged with capital murder in the brutal slayings of the family.
Sgt. Doug Finch received the Award of Merit for his actions in directing a crime scene that covered multiple hotel floors and included more than fifteen witnesses after responding to a shooting at the Rodeway Inn on March 3, 2013, which left a teenager dead.
The Detective of the Year Award went to officer Marti Abernathy for consistently handling more cases than any other detective. Officials noted that Officer Abernathy handles the more emotionally charged cases that include family relations and domestic abuse.
Benjamin Marshall, a security guard, noticed a robbery taking place at the Dollar Tree on Lakeshore Parkway on November 30 of last year. Ignoring the danger, Marshall chased the robber, 21-year-old Christopher James Henderson, who was dressed as a security guard when he robbed the store manager at gunpoint, into the nearby woods and was able to direct officers to the area the suspect was last seen. Police then brought in a tracking dog and were able to capture Henderson. For his act of bravery and quick thinking, the Homewood Police Department awarded Marshall the Citizen Commendation Award.
The Unit Citation Award, an award that goes to the top department, was given this year to the Criminal Investigations Division for its work primarily in both the triple murder and hotel shooting.
In all, the Homewood Police Department honored more than a dozen people for their crime-fighting work.