After 10 years on Wilton’s police force, Officer Eva Zimnoch might be expected to have settled into her career, slowing down her aspirations.
But she’s certainly hasn’t.
Zimnoch was recently named Officer of the Year for 2014, and her only plan is to keep moving.
“Every opportunity that comes up, I put in for it and I do my very best” to get assigned the new role, she said Tuesday afternoon at the police station.
She was honored as Officer of the Year at the police department awards ceremony on Thursday, March 26, at Trackside Teen Center. The awards ceremony was co-sponsored by the Wilton Rotary Club.
Wilton’s Officer of the Year is a qualified scuba diver, a member of the regional SWAT team, an occasional undercover officer, and head of the department’s training division, though she fundamentally considers herself a patrol officer.
“I love what I do now, and it looks great for my future, but I miss the road,” she said. “I’m a go-out-and-get-it, fight-crime kind of girl.”
A graduate of Norwalk Community College’s criminal justice program, Zimnoch is the only officer in Wilton to regularly participate in undercover operations in surrounding towns.
“I have a good reputation with surrounding agencies, and I’m the only one that actually does that here,” she said. “I’m wired, and I have a GPS tracker attached to me.”
Zimnoch always knew she wanted to help people in one way or another as a career. She narrowed down her choices to nursing or policing, and decided on the latter.
“This fit my personality much better,” she said. “I love coming to work every day, even 10 years later. I love the challenge, and there aren’t many challenges I would pass up.”
Though many of her days on the force have been positive, she said, some of the most difficult times came early in her career.
“When I first came on the job, there were quite a few suicides. I thought to myself, I’m trying to help people, I’m not trying to grieve with people. You end up trying to separate yourself emotionally, but you grow from that and you become stronger,” she said.
In addition to being named Officer of the Year, Zimnoch was awarded two Letters of Commendation. The first was for off-duty actions in aiding a man experiencing a seizure in Norwalk, and the second was for aiding the Stamford Police Department in translating for a 90-year-old woman who had been the victim of a brutal rape.
Following is a list of all the officers honored at this year’s police awards:
• Officer Wojciech Brodzinski — one Letter of Recognition, one Letter of Commendation.
• Officer Eva Zimnoch — two Letters of Commendation.
• OfficersDiane MacLean — Life Saving Award and Letter of Recognition.
• Officer Shawn Frendt — Live Saving Award and Letter of Recognition.
• Detective Kip Trahan — Letter of Commendation.
• Detective Scott Sear — Letter of Recognition.
• Detective Christopher Isidro — Letter of Recognition.
• Officer Joseph Calorossi — Letter of Recognition.
• Officer Anna Tornello — Letter of Recognition.
• Lt. Robert Kluk — Letter of Recognition.
• Capt. John Lynch — Letter of Commendation.