Coveted Red Hayes Award up for grabs among Rochester patrol officers

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Red Hayes' presence while directing traffic downtown is a fond memory for many of the city's older residents. (Courtesy photo)

ROCHESTER - The Rochester Police Department is now accepting nominations for the coveted Patrol Officer Community Service Award, also known as the Willis 'Red' Hayes Community Ambassador's Award.

Red Hayes was a longtime Rochester Police Officer, a patrolman, visible to all on the square in Rochester from the 1940s-70s. He exhibited a buoyant spirit that welcomed others into his life even when working in a hostile situation. Friendly interaction was always evident so an individual felt special and respected.

According to those that knew Red, he could get beyond the hard shell of life and reach to the spirit of a person. His red face always showed a smile and his communication skills drew out the best in people. His style was to offer guidance, not provoke a hostile response. Red was a conscientious and supportive friend to all, while exercising his public duty to uphold the law.

The Community Ambassador's Award may be given to a current patrol officer for his or her service in promoting and improving a positive community relationship. The nomination period is open until Wednesday, Aug. 18.

There is history and criteria involved in choosing an honoree. The patrol officer should have earned the respect and admiration of the community through their good work as demonstrated by two or more of the following standards:

Public testimony via correspondence to the department, i.e., thank you letters, phone calls, text messages, etc.

Testimony from a fellow officer who has observed the public response to his or her actions while on duty.

A previous citation from the command and or a civic group

The officer exhibits some of the characteristics as listed below

Friendly interaction with the public so an individual feels special and respected in a criminal environment

Shows compassion for the situation

Outgoing, gregarious, and "stands out beyond the uniform"

Willing to rehab criminal behavior even on the spot

Can foresee the danger in a given situation and reduce the tension

Exhibits positive community spirit through his or her voluntary involvement in the community.

Any citizen and or member of the Rochester Police Department may recommend a candidate for this award. Annual nominations may be initiated by the Chief of Police and announced in the media, on public affairs channels, or during Police Commission or City Council meetings.

Citizen correspondence can be sent to:

The Willis "Red" Hayes Committee

c/o the Rochester Police Department

23 Wakefield Street

Rochester, NH 03867

This award has been adopted in the Police Department Policy Standard 26.1.2 Commendations and Awards.

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