Some Very Big Shoes to Fill

Some Very Big Shoes to Fill

MPO Sabrina Ruck is honored before retiring.

Flanked by Capt. Rachel Levy and Lt. Matt Dehler, MPO Sabrina Ruck (center) is honored as Officer of the Quarter.

Flanked by Capt. Rachel Levy and Lt. Matt Dehler, MPO Sabrina Ruck (center) is honored as Officer of the Quarter. Photo by Bonnie Hobbs.

For MPO Sabrina Ruck, the last couple months have been quite eventful. First, she was honored as both the Sully District Police Station’s Officer of the Month and Quarter. And then her colleagues and the community feted her at a luncheon in honor of her impending retirement.

Her awards were announced at a recent meeting of the station’s Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). During the presentation of Officer of the Quarter for January, February and March, CAC Co-Chairman Tom Pickett praised Ruck’s “common sense about people.” He also described this Crime Prevention Officer as “humble, not concerned about status and someone who shares her successes with others.”

In her letter nominating Ruck for that honor, then station commander, Capt. Rachel Levy, wrote, “Sabrina is a dedicated member of the FCPD and the Sully District Station. It has been my privilege to work with her since I arrived at Sully in March of 2022. Sabrina is an instrumental part of the team at Sully and diligently works to keep this community safe.”

Furthermore, added Levy, “She constantly goes above and beyond in her job, whether it’s helping members of the community or her fellow officers. She anticipates the needs of the station and often puts plans into action before many of us have even thought of them. Sabrina is retiring this summer and is going to leave some very big shoes to fill.”

Speaking directly to Ruck during the ceremony, Levy told her, “It’s truly been an honor to be your commander and see how you’ve transformed this community. Thank you for everything you’ve done.”

In nominating Ruck for Officer of the Month for May, 2nd Lt. Scott Reynolds, the station’s Neighborhood Patrol Unit supervisor, also stressed her dedication and the many ways she’s helped “create a safer community” in the Sully District.

“Her outreach on [digital platform] Nextdoor keeps the community informed of crimes happening within their neighborhood, and she often will provide safety tips, as well,” wrote Reynolds. “She informs her supervisors and officers of what’s going on throughout the Sully District, so everyone is aware of what to look out for.”

He also noted that Ruck attends several community meetings and helps advise community members about crime trends or issues within their neighborhoods. “She has been a great asset as the Crime Prevention Officer and to the Sully District Station,” said Reynolds. “She is well-deserving of this award.”

Her colleagues and local residents agree, and they expressed their appreciation for Ruck during a retirement luncheon for her at the station. Carol Robinson knows her through the Centreville Day Planning Committee.

“She’s been part of the committee for many years,” said Robinson. “We’re so fortunate to have had her for so long in the Sully District. She’s brought such enthusiasm and commitment to helping all of us in the district. Because of her participation in Centreville Day, the Safety Expo portion has enlarged exponentially. And she’s also ensured the attendance of McGruff the Crime Dog for the parade and for photo ops.”

Former Auxiliary Police Officer John Werderman, now with VIPS (Volunteers in Police Services), said Ruck’s been “a great asset to the community, always reaching out to the citizens and lending an ear to their issues.”

Acknowledging that Ruck is also a wife and mother of two, with a life outside the Police Department, Picket said, “She does that with the same passion and enthusiasm she brings to her job as a police officer.”

CAC Co-Chair John Greenhaugh recalled when Ruck spoke to his homeowners’ association. “She was phenomenal in her subject matter and in the way she responded to the questions from the residents,” he said. “Her leaving will be a loss for the community; the CAC wishes her well, going forward.”

Agreeing, Levy said, “Sabrina is a true professional and has made such an impact here at the Sully District Station and across the whole county. The leadership she brings to the station will be missed. I wish her the best of luck in retirement and have thoroughly enjoyed working with her over the past year that I’ve been here.”

Capt. Ryan Morgan, commander of the West Springfield District Station, worked at Sully with Ruck for a year when he was a first lieutenant and Capt. Dean Lay was the commander. “Sabrina holds a special place in my heart,” said Morgan. “We were classmates at Centreville High and graduated together in 1994.”

Once they became police officers, though, she worked on the east end of Fairfax County in the Mason District, and he worked in the west at both the Fair Oaks and Sully district stations. “So it was like a reunion when we came back to Sully in 2017,” said Morgan. “We had a great team here, and I’ll miss her dearly. 

“We always helped each other out, through the years,” he continued. “She’s been a great friend, and her husband Brian [also an FCPD officer] is a good guy, too. I submitted him for the Meritorious Service Award that he received around 2018 and really deserved. I wish them both the best. In the police world, you never say goodbye, you just say, ‘See you later.’”

During the luncheon, Bill Keech, president of the Westfield Business Owners Assn., gave Ruck a crystal award from his organization in recognition of her many years of service to the Centreville-Chantilly community. “She’s worked closely with all our business and property owners here and told them what to do to prevent crimes,” he explained. “She’s also been a great liaison between the police and the community.

“She lets us know what’s going on and enables us to share with the police the property owners’ concerns. We wish her the best and will miss her, but we’ll also look forward to continuing our long relationship with the FCPD and the Sully District Station.”

Later on, at the June 21 CAC meeting, Ruck was again honored, receiving a framed certificate from the CAC, plus a crystal award from Little Rocky Run’s Neighborhood Watch. Thanking them, she called her departure “bittersweet,” adding, “I’ve had a good career, but I’m excited about my next chapter.”