MARTINSBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT

Officer of the Month

March 2019

Patrolman Erin Gibbons & Patrolman Larry Meeks

Patrolman Erin Gibbons and Patrolman Larry Meeks have been selected as the Martinsburg Police Department’s Officers of the Month for March 2019.

Erin Gibbons is an MPD veteran with 13 years of service and Larry Meeks is one of MPD’s newest officers with three months on the job.  Officer Gibbons has been serving as Officer Meek’s Field Training Officer during this time.  Gibbons and Meeks were nominated for the prestigious Officer of the Month award by their Shift Commander, Lieutenant Scott Funkhouser who commended their performance, noting that last month Erin and Larry led their entire Shift in traffic safety enforcement with 130 citations and warnings and made several outstanding arrests.

“Erin Gibbons and Larry Meeks exemplify everything we look for in a Martinsburg Police Officer—Integrity, dedication, enthusiasm, hard work, leadership, and compassion.  Erin and Larry are the real deal.  I’m proud they are part of our MPD team.”  

- Chief Maury Richards          

Part of Patrolman Gibbons’ job as a Field Training Officer is to teach recruits the basics of good police investigations and the importance of going above and beyond minimum expectations to achieve results.  As a team, Gibbons and Meeks have been tackling multiple crimes and cases.  The two partners’ excellent investigative skills were recently displayed after responding to a call to assist a senior resident.  The elderly man complained that after lending his car to a woman he had trusted to care for him, she had refused to return it.  Officers Gibbons and Meeks took the time and interest to interview the elderly man in-depth, reached out to his family, and contacted Adult Protective Services. 

After gathering evidence which indicated the likelihood that the senior citizen was being exploited, the officers met with the Prosecutor’s Office about bringing criminal charges against the woman.  Through their persistent investigation, the police discovered that the woman had been in possession of the man’s car for two months, depriving him of transportation to buy groceries and preventing him from going to his doctor appointments.  Gibbons and Meeks continued to dig into the case and were also were able to establish that the younger woman had been stealing from the elderly man’s finances.  The officers obtained arrest warrants charging the woman with Grand Larceny and Financial Exploitation of the Elderly. 

“Erin and Larry did an absolutely great job in helping a vulnerable member of our community who was being exploited, hurt, and had no one else to turn to.  They showed genuine concern, were determined to do something to stop it, and they did.”  

- Lieutenant Scott Funkhouser

Officer Gibbons and Meeks continued their well-rounded enforcement activity last month with several other significant criminal investigations.  These included a follow-up that resulted in a domestic violence arrest with felony charges, an arrest with charges for Brandishing a Deadly Weapon and Prohibited Person in Possession of a Firearm, and are currently continuing an investigation into felony counterfeiting

Patrolman Erin Gibbons has always demonstrated a positive attitude and brings to the job an enthusiasm that’s contagious.  “I love this job,” states Officer Gibbons.  “I’ve been doing this for a while now and Year 13 is the same as Year One—great!  I love the interaction with people—on the street with the public and working with my fellow officers.  People respect me and treat me good as a police officer, but of course that goes both ways,” added Erin.  “I really like the way our Department has progressed and is progressing—and I can’t wait for our new building!”  

“I love this job.  I’ve been doing this for a while now and Year 13 is the same as Year One—great!”

- Patrolman Erin Gibbons 

Patrolman Larry Meeks joined MPD after completing a distinguished 20 career in the United States Navy.  During his naval service, Larry successfully performed multiple jobs, served on many different ships, and carried out a wide range of missions in his Surface Warfare assignment.  Officer Meeks says that he was motivated to begin a career in policing because, “I wanted a job where I could make a positive impact on my community.  I chose MPD because it was the right size, the right culture, and the right fit—this a great Department.”  From his extensive naval experience, Larry brings confidence and maturity to his new job and sees important similarities with his military service.  “You can’t succeed without working as a team,” says Officer Meeks.  “Working together to achieve a common goal creates bonds that last a lifetime.  As one of the new guys I know I have a lot to learn from my fellow officers so I’m just trying to be like a sponge and soak up as much experience and knowledge as I can.”  

“You can’t succeed without working as a team.  Working together to achieve a common goal creates bonds that last a lifetime.”

- Patrolman Larry Meeks

Deputy Chief George Swartwood also recognized the achievement and character of the two award recipients.  Swartwood states that, “Patrolman Erin Gibbons is an outstanding officer who still brings enthusiasm, knowledge, experience, and compassion to the job.  He excels as a Training Officer, instilling the same level of dedication to his recruit.  Patrolman Larry Meeks is a new officer that has readily accepted and demonstrates the Martinsburg Police Department concepts of teamwork and community policing.  He has performed his duties in a quiet and positive manner and I look forward to working with him for many years to come.  Erin Gibbons and Larry Meeks are deserving of this award and are valuable and true assets to our police department.”

“Both Erin Gibbons and Larry Meeks are deserving of this award and are valuable and true assets to our police department.”

- Deputy Chief George Swartwood

Through their exceptional dedication, commitment, and effectiveness in representing the Martinsburg Police Department and serving our community, Patrolman Erin Gibbons and Patrolman Larry Meeks have demonstrated a level of excellence far above normal requirements and expectations.  They are awarded Officers of the Month for March 2019.  Congratulations Erin and Larry! 

Officer of the Month Award

MPD is recognizing on a monthly basis, both sworn and non-sworn Department members who distinguish themselves by exemplary work and actions beyond the requirements of normal assignments and which represent the highest standards of policing and community service in the Martinsburg Police Department.

The Officer of the Month Award will be granted to a Department member or members whose performance of duty during a specific month was characterized by such exceptional professional skill that it merits recognition by the entire Department.

Criteria to be considered includes outstanding work that: Is varied and challenging; greatly affects people from all walks of life; improves community conditions and quality of life; furthers the ideals and values of the Martinsburg Police Department; achieves significant impact on public safety or crime reduction; resolves problems; brings credit to the Department; demonstrates leadership, initiative, and exceptional professionalism; improves police service to the public; or in other ways advance the goals of MPD.

Gibbons Meeks

Patrolman Erin Gibbons

Patrolman Larry Meeks