Ft. Pierce officer named Treasure Coast Law Officer of the Year

FORT PIERCE, FL (WFLX) - Officer Daniela "Danie" Dreizehnter received acknowledgment Monday for her hard work. Officer Dreizehnter balances her work responsibilities with her duties as a foster parent and commitment to several volunteer organizations.

She likened being named the 2009 Treasure Coast Law Enforcement Officer of the Year to the Academy Awards saying, "I faced some stiff competition and I told my husband there is no way I'm going to win."

"So often, law enforcement is defined by the number of people you put in jail or the number of tickets you write. Seldom is crime prevention or intervention when you are dealing with juveniles considered legitimate police work."

Scott VanDuzer, along with members of the VanDuzer Foundation Board of Directors, announced that Dreizehtner was the first winner of the Fort Pierce Police Athletic League Treasure Coast Office of the Year on March 27 during the Annual Treasure Coast Police Officer's Ball held at the Pelican Yacht Club in Fort Pierce. Dreizehnter received $1,000 from the VanDuzer Foundation and a plaque from PAL.

Before Saturday's announcement, Dreizehnter and her husband had decided that if she won the award the money would be donated to the four local charities that she volunteers for:  Avenue D. Boys Choir, J.E. Sampson School, Kids At Hope and PACE Center for Girls. "It's all about paying it forward and putting it where it counts," she said.

Dreizehnter, an officer since 2003, has spent much of her career serving the community by addressing issues facing the youth. In 2009, she was the driving force behind the development, coordination, and implementation of the Juvenile Assessment Monitoring or JAM program. The program, which targets juveniles on probation, is credited with decreasing juvenile violent crime by 29 percent, reducing overall juvenile crime by 17 percent and decreasing the number of repeat offenders by 8.8 percent.

"Officer Dreizehnter is passionate about protecting our community by working with children both as an officer and as a volunteer," Fort Pierce Police Chief R. Sean Baldwin said. " We're very proud of her accomplishments, and we thank the  VanDuzer Foundation for recognizing her."

The other nominees included: Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Michael Coulter, Indian River County Sheriff's Deputy Chad MacConnell; Martin County Sheriff's Detective William Jones, Port St. Lucie Police Department Officer Robert O'Hara and St. Lucie County Sheriff's Detective Andrew Bolonka.