If you've ever met Officer Phil Smith with the Evansville Police Department, there's no doubt he left a lasting impression on you, even if you've only met him once. Always smiling, always happy to have a conversation about any topic, and always willing to help anyone and everyone who needs a hand. It's for all those reasons, and more, Phil deservingly became one of only 23 officers across the country to receive the U.S. Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service in Policing.

While he's not the Chief of Police, nor is he the Public Information Officer (although he does serve as a fill-in for that role when needed), Phil has become one of the faces of the Evansville Police Department, and a major part of the community outreach initiative Chief Billy Bolin made a top priority when he took over the Department.

Each year, the award recognizes officers from around the country "for exceptional efforts in effective policing" who have "demonstrated active exceptional performance in one of three areas" which are Innovations in Community Policing, Criminal Investigations, or Field Operations according to the Attorney General's website.

Like nearly everyone who meets him, I consider Phil a friend. While most of our interactions are related to our respective jobs, I always enjoy talking with Phil about whatever. His personality lights up any room he walks into, and his passion for our community isn't rivaled by many. From his work with the Department, to the effort he puts into both the fundraising for the annual Cops Connecting with Kids Disney Adventure and the trip itself, along with his non-work role as a husband and father, the recognition he received with today's award is beyond well deserved.

[Source: Evansville Police Department]

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