Police officers and detectives were joined by Fairfax County Police chief Thomas Manger to recognize the criminal investigators for solving the lower-profile property crime cases around the county.
Manger stressed that these cases are no less important.
"I think it's long overdue to recognize the detectives in the property crimes. A lot of these folks are unbelievably talented detectives. We take these crimes as seriously as we take any crime in this county," Manger said.
There was one detective honored from each of the seven districts. They worked in part with the Crime Solvers program, which is a nationwide program where the police ask for citizens' assistance and pay for tips leading to arrests.
Fairfax County public information officer Jacqi Smith was one of the ceremony organizers, handing out plaques at the Dec. 10 luncheon at the Fairfax Country Club.
"What's here today is the criminal investigation section," she said.
Fellow information officer Julie Hersey was at the ceremony. Hersey noted the big advantage of the Crime Solvers program was anonymity.
"People realize Crime Solvers stands for anonymity. The police department does not run Crime Solvers, citizens do," she said.
The program started in October 1979 and relies on no government funding, according to Hersey.
LT. JOHN NAYLOR of the West Springfield District station was on hand to see one of his officers, Eric Carpenter, be recognized. Carpenter is one of seven detectives at West Springfield, and he has been there seven years as well.
"He has one of the higher closure rates, a real good detective. Unfortunately I couldn't put my whole section in, they all do a good job," Naylor said.
At the West Springfield District station, which is still in its temporary facility until the station gets remodeled, there are other awards as well. Officer of the Quarter, Officer of the Year and an award by a Springfield group came to mind.
"The Optimist Club in Springfield, they recognize an officer," Naylor said.
Manger said that Fairfax County leads the way in crime-fighting technology as well. The automated fingerprint system was one crime-fighting apparatus that immediately came to mind.
"Now you can just throw it into a database. Technology continues to make strides," he said.
This was the second time the criminal investigation detectives were recognized. Last year, the officers involved in violent crimes were recognized.