Post 229 Taps 3 Police Officers of the Year

UTICA, May 1, 2014 – Utica American Legion Post 229 is honoring three Utica cops as Police Officers of the Year.  

In conjunction with National Law Day, The American Legion held a dinner and ceremony honoring:
  • Utica Police Officer and Evidence Technician Ryan Kelly.
  • Utica Police Lt. Louis Capri, executive officer of the Patrol Division.
  • Utica Police Capt. David Mickle, commander of the Administrative Division.

Utica Post 229 Law and Order Chair Paul Wojcik introduced Police Chief Mark Williams, who helped to present the top cop awards. Mayor Robert Palmieri also presented certificates of recognition.

KELLY WAS CITED for his investigation of an apparent murder attempt or robbery gone wrong. Last December, a man with a severe neck laceration stumbled into a local coffee shop and collapsed. He was transported to the hospital for immediate life-saving surgery. Officer Kelly proceeded to conduct a methodical investigation, including following footprints in the snow, comparing footwear, and thoroughly searching an adjacent wooded area. As a result of his skill as an evidence technician, Kelly was able to determine that it was not the scene of a heinous crime, but an attempted suicide. After being confronted with Officer Kelly's evidence, the victim eventually admitted he tried to take his own life.

LIEUTENANT CAPRI was praised for outstanding performance ever since being appointed to the Department in 1995. After two years, Capri was named a field training officer. Then a year later, he became an accident investigator and accident reconstructionist. He investigated numerous serious injury accidents and several fatalities. One fatal collision involved the New York State Police, who ended up being sued. Capri's investigation helped clear State Police from any liability. With a little over five years of service, Capri was promoted to sergeant and supervised several units within the Uniformed Patrol Division. Eventually he was assigned to the Tactical Unit, learning how to investigate and supervise specialized types of crimes. Under his guidance, officers from the Tactical Unit and Patrol Division were responsible for one of the department's largest street level narcotics interdiction arrests. Capri also developed plans and guides for handling large scale events. After 12 years of service, Capri was promoted to lieutenant. He has supervised each platoon in the Patrol Division, and now serves as its executive officer. In 2014 Lieutenant Capri was public safety incident commander for the Fay Street Warehouse implosion as well as for the St. Patrick's Day Parade. Over the years he has received several exceptional duty and honorable service awards.

CAPTAIN MICKLE was praised for 24 years of service, which included commanding the Uniform Patrol Division, Tactical Unit and Internal Affairs. In 2006 he received the "Ed Ruffing" Superior Officer of the Year Award. His current assignment as Administrative Division commander includes overseeing an $18 million budget on behalf of the department, supervising fleet management, police recruiting and training, human resources, grants, information technology systems, department accreditation, and evidence processing and storage. Last year Captain Mickle and his staff led a successful recruiting campaign that resulted in a record high of 508 candidates taking the police civil service exam. Additionally, Mickle has applied for and received numerous federal and state grants, which have eased the city's tax burden, and helped pay for needed equipment and reduced overtime costs. Chief Williams described Mickle as "a hardworking, dedicated leader, who excels in any position." Williams added: "He is known for creating effective solutions to complex problems."

The awards ceremony and dinner were attended by Legionnaires, auxiliary members, and the families of the honorees.

Utica Post 229 honors top firefighters every fall and top cops in the spring.

Ryan Kelly
Officer Ryan Kelly

Louis Capri
Lt. Louis Capri

David Mickle
Capt. David Mickle