(WBNG Binghamton) Endicott Police Dept. Officer Michael S. Hilla has been selected as the sole recipient of the 2012 Juvenile Officer of the Year by the State of New York Police Juvenile Officers Association.
According to a news release:
After 29 years with the Endicott Police Department, and 7 years as a school resource/juvenile officer with the Union Endicott School District, Hilla was nominated for the award by Chief of Police Michael Cox, Community Services Sergeant Laurie Sorensen as well as principals from both UEHS (Steven DiStephano) and JFSnapp Middle School (AnnMarie Foley).
Cox said Hilla started with the department as a road officer in 1983, worked in the Detective Division, and is a founding/current member of the EPD federally accredited Bomb Squad. In 2004, EPD and UE School District made a decision to work towards the implementation of the SRO program. OFC Hilla was among several officers interviewed for this position, and he was hand selected to spearhead the program by the Chief of Police and the UE School District Administrative panel.
During the years that followed, OFC Hilla built bridges of understanding between students, staff and the Endicott Police Department. His dedication to the students and staff is demonstrated in the following ways:
•Several months after he was selected to set up the SRO program in the UE School District, he paid for himself to attend a week long, national SRO conference in Reno, NV. He did this in order to acquire the knowledge of how to successfully institute the SRO program in our community. Along with the school administrators, OFC Hilla single-handedly set up the successful SRO within the UE School District.
•OFC Hilla spent the better part of 2007 updating and establishing the Emergency plans for the school district.
•Shortly after his arrival at the UEHS, OFC Hilla was asked to work with the “Giving Kids an Edge” program, which targets the needs of the “at risk” population within the school district. His involvement with these students extends beyond contact at school, to his volunteering his time to attend after school activities, including evening sporting events with these kids.
•OFC Hilla regularly contributes to the “Participation in Government” classes at the high school by presenting various topics to the classes at the request of the teacher.
•OFC Hilla has become an invaluable addition to the special education program within the school district by arranging field trips for these special needs students. He typically sets up 2-3 field trips per year. For each of these trips, he arranges dinner at our local Elks Club and then procures complimentary tickets to various events such as the Binghamton Mets baseball games or the Binghamton Senators hockey games. He goes above and beyond his duties as an SRO by volunteering his time to both set these trips up and chaperone them as well.
Officer Hilla officially received his award at the state’s Juvenile Officers Association Conference on August 30, 2012 in Lake Placid, NY.