Rexburg police announce first ever officer of the year

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REXBURG — Honor, courage, integrity, and compassion aren’t just words on display in the Rexburg Police Department’s conference area, they’re also used to describe the department’s first ever ‘Officer of the Year.’

This is the first year the department has decided to have an ‘Officer of the Year’ award. Officer Joshua Rhodes was first the recipient of what is set to be an annual tradition. Rhodes has been with the department for seven years and has worked in law enforcement for 10 years.

“I just try to do my job the best I can every day,” Rhodes said. “I believe we have a lot of really great people here (and) we have a lot of support from the community.”

Rhodes is one of two K9 handlers for the department with his partner Piper who is a yellow lab. He is also a member of the SWAT team and is an Alive at 25 instructor, and an Arrest Techniques instructor. According to a release, he recently became a Field Training Officer for new hires at the department.

Rexburg Police Chief Shane Turman, along with representatives from Idaho Central Credit Union presented Rhodes with the award. ICCU sponsored a vacation for Rhodes and his family to Las Vegas.

“They serve us, they serve our community and we want to be able to give back to the people we depend on every single day,” ICCU’s Business Development Officer Ashley Duda said.

Turman sent out a survey to all employees at the department and they unknowingly selected their officer of the year. Turman said it had questions about the officer’s professionalism and character in various categories.

“We sent that survey out to all the employees of the Rexburg Police Department (and) didn’t tell them it was for the officer of the year,” Turman said. “When it was all said and done Josh Rhodes received the most votes.”

Rhodes said he enjoys being an officer and serving the community. He said when people meet law enforcement it’s not always under the best circumstances, but he does his best to make all of his interactions as positive as possible.

“I believe in second chances. Trying to help people work through problems, sometimes that requires enforcement, sometimes that requires a warning of some sort. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt as often as possible and help them in the best way that I can,” Rhodes said.

Turman said he was happy to give the award to a hardworking officer.

“It was well, well deserved because Josh exemplifies all those qualities and standards. If you see up there honor, courage, compassion, integrity, that’s Josh Rhodes,” Turman said.