WADSWORTH — Just over one year after making the career move from news reporter to police officer, Vivian Feke has been named Wadsworth police’s Patrol Officer of the Year.
“I think I have always had an interest since I was a little kid in police work, then I got distracted along the way when I was in college,” said Feke, 24.
“I got involved in the campus media station at Kent State and I ended up double majoring in journalism,” she added.
Feke said she enjoyed both fields, especially investigative reporting.
According to a department Facebook post last week, Feke was employed as a news producer / multimedia journalist at WKYC Channel 3 in Cleveland before attending the Ohio Highway Patrol Academy. Feke obtained her Ohio Basic Peace Officer Certification in June 2017.
“I had a lot of opportunities to work in journalism after I graduated, so I wanted to try that out and along the way I just decided that I wanted to do something different, so I went for it,” Feke said.
Feke said learning to remain patient with both members of the public and throughout the entire policing process is an important part of the job.
“Sometimes policing is fast-paced and there is a lot to do but at the same time it is definitely not as fast-paced as you might see in a TV show and it takes us a lot longer to get through the paperwork and to actually investigate a scene,” Feke said.
“You hear a lot about paperwork in policing and that there is a lot of it and that is 100 percent true, there is so much more than I even expected,” Feke added.
Feke said that putting in all the required time and resources to solve a crime can be a tedious process at times.
“It takes a lot of patience, buy you want to make sure you are making the right decisions. …”
While she finds solving cases, particularly felony-level incidents, to be particularly rewarding, Feke said her favorite part of the job is being able to interact with children and members of the Wadsworth community.
“I didn’t get into police work that I could arrest people,” Feke said. “I definitely got into it so that I could genuinely try to make a difference in a community and Wadsworth is a really great community.”
Wadsworth police Lt. Dave Dorland said in an email that the department supervisors select an Officer of the Month award winner, and the candidates who have received that designation are eligible for the annual award. The department has 18 full-time officers in addition to commanding officers, according toe the department’s website.
“Each officer and dispatch(er) is encouraged to vote for the officer of the year from that pool of candidates,” he said.
Feke received officer of the month designations in both March and September .
“Feke maintained a high level of self-initiated activity in the past year, which led to her being among the top officers in the department in arrests, OVI’s, traffic stops, citations and case incidents,” according to the Facebook post announcing her recognition.
“I feel really honored,” Feke said. “I am really proud of the department that I work for and I am honored that my fellow officers elected me for the award.”