by Jennifer Sierra
In a letter from Bellevue, Kentucky Police Officer to the Campbell County Rotary Club, Officer James Poynter nominated Dayton, Kentucky Sergeant Gilbert Marksberry as Police Officer of the Year. On April 27th, Sergeant Marksberry received the honor for his work with local charities like the Cops and Kids Program and for taking the initiative to raise money for a canine officer in his department. Not only did Marskberry raise money for his canine partner, Tesa, he also took the steps and responsibility of training to become the handler of a canine officer.
While there are many people in Dayton and Bellevue that consider the other town a rival, it is clear that the police departments don’t feel that way about each other. It speaks volumes about Marksberry that someone from another town’s police department nominated him to be honored in such a way. It also says a lot about the nominating officer. Read Poynter’s letter in full below.
Campbell County Rotary Club
Police Officer of the Year
Sgt Gilbert Marksberry
I would like to nominate Sgt. Gilbert “Gil” Marksberry of the Dayton KY Police Department as your officer of the year. Gil is a member of Campbell County FOP 10 and is very active in the lodge’s affairs. He and his family are always helping with our Cops and Kids Program and any other worthy cause we take on. Gil has been a police in Dayton for several years and served as an agent with the KY ABC after serving with the Campbell County PD.
After coming to Dayton Gil expressed his desire to become a K9 handler. When Dayton lost their current handler and K9 to another department Gil worked to bring the program back to his department. The initial costs of starting up a K9 program exceed $12,500.00 of which Dayton only had $6,000.00. Gil along with his wife Gillian started looking for ways to raise the additional funds. FOPA 10 was used as the charitable organization in which donations could be made to support his efforts. To date Gil has raised over $8,000.00 and is now working his new K9 partner, Tesa. Tesa is a multipurpose K9. She is able to locate drugs, track criminals and if called upon apprehend violent offenders. Gil also sought out and found businesses that could make In Kind donations. Those include a ballistic vest, dog food for a year, and a medical bag for Tesa. Gil has given untold hours of his own time to train and care for Tesa. Tesa has been a valuable resource to all of Northern KY as Gil will respond to calls for assistance from any agency, anytime, even on his off days. To date Tesa has located a wide variety of drugs and Gil has removed them from the street making Campbell County a much safer place to call home.
While Gil may not have one heroic action that drew attention to himself, his service and commitment to the citizens he serves is far reaching. I would not be surprised however that very soon Gil and Tesa are on the evening news for sniffing out a large amount of drugs, tracking a wanted fugitive or maybe even locating a missing child. Gil has all the qualities that one would look for in a police officer and so much more. It is for these reasons that I nominate Sgt. Gilbert Marksberry as your Police Office of the Year Award Recipient.
James F. Poynter
Past President FOP 10