FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS - United States Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe announced the recipients of the 2022 Law Enforcement Public Service Awards on Thursday, November 17, 2022. Personnel from several federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies who contributed to the success of federal cases were recognized for their commitment to pursuing justice and public safety.
These awards recognize law enforcement officers and support personnel for exceptional leadership, outstanding collaboration, investigative achievement and excellence, victim assistance, and community engagement. “Today we honor exceptional law enforcement officers and the vital public service they provide. These women and men engage in an unrelenting and often unacknowledged fight to keep our communities safe every day. It is an honor today to recognize each of you for your service and successful investigations,” said United States Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe.
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“Each law enforcement partner was nominated by an Assistant United State Attorney. It is the partnership between law enforcement and these prosecutors, as well as the support staff of the United States Attorney’s Office, that ultimately leads to justice for victims, protecting the rule of law and successful prosecutions”.
Nick Manns, Illinois State Police, was presented an award for his vision, implementation, and leadership of the Illinois Public Safety Enforcement Group (PSEG). Nick successfully developed partnerships with existing community organizations to implement trauma-informed interventions and provide needed social services for victims and witnesses identified by the PSEG Unit in the course of their investigations. Manns was recently elected as the new Jersey County sheriff.
Investigator Amanda Wimmersberg, Illinois Attorney General, Investigations Division/High Tech Crimes, received recognition for her tireless work to identify and remove some of the worst child predators in our communities and for the incredibly thorough investigation that led to the successful prosecution of Lance Wehrle. At trial, Amanda provided compelling testimony regarding her extensive forensic review and the details of the abuse victim.
Werhle was convicted and sentenced to 40 years in the Bureau of Prisons. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Ayla Horlick received an award for her tireless work removing dangerous drugs from our community.
Special Agent Horlick was also recognized as an exceptional team player that stays closely involved throughout the investigative process and prosecution of each matter she submits. A group award was given to members of the Centralia Police Department and the Centralia Safe Streets Working Group for their investigation which led to the successful prosecution of Chris Jamison, a prolific shooter and member of a well-known street gang in Centralia. Jamison was eventually sentenced to 78 months in the Bureau of Prisons, almost double the advisory sentencing guideline range. Receiving the award were Centralia Police Officers Lieutenant Jamie James, Sergeant Mike Peebles, Officer Travis Ripperda and FBI Special Agent Ryan James.
Personnel from the United States Postal Inspection Service were recognized for their outstanding work they have done over the past decade in bringing to justice fraudulent telemarketers who victimize citizens of Southern Illinois. Receiving the award were Inspector Adam Latham, Inspector Kathy Broderick, Inspector Molly Emmerich, Analyst Tim Brunholz (Retired), and Analyst Marvin Koechig.
The United States Attorney’s Office “Exceptional Service Award” was presented to Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Supervisory Attorney Tracy Knutson. She will be retiring in December after serving 24 years with BOP. Knutson made significant contributions in civil and criminal matters handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.