In a letter nominating Officer Shawn Nagell as 2010 Kiwanis Club of Longboat Key Police Officer of the Year, Police Chief Al Hogle cited an incident that occurred in July.
A man was camping on Beer Can Island and was armed with a machete. According to police reports, the man said that he listened only “to the law of God.”
“Shawn met that dangerous encounter with professionalism and concern for all involved, and this subject was taken into custody without injury,” Hogle wrote.
But for Nagell, who served in the U.S. Army and was a licensed practical nurse before he was hired in 2001 as a Longboat Key dispatcher, the most rewarding moments as a law-enforcement officer are usually less dramatic. Nagell remembers a recent incident in which he changed a tire for an elderly couple waiting for AAA in 95-degree weather. They were grateful for his assistance.
“It probably took 10 minutes, but these types of incidents are extremely rewarding,” Nagell said.
Nagell didn’t plan on becoming a police officer when he enrolled in the police academy in 2001 while working as a dispatcher.
“I thought that if I went to the police academy, I would have a better understanding of what was going on on the road and provide better service,” Nagell said.
He worked full-time while attending the police academy. In 2003, he applied for a police officer job with the Longboat Key department and was sworn in in August of that year.
According to Hogle’s letter of nomination, Nagell is an active officer.
“ … he consistently finds open doors, suspicious people/vehicle and traffic cases, indicating that he is working his entire zone,” Hogle wrote.
Nagell also fills in as a dispatcher when needed.
“He definitely has a whatever-you-need-me-to-do attitude,” Hogle wrote.
The 2010 Police Officer of the Year award isn’t the first time Nagell has been recognized for his service:
He also received the honor for 2005.
Nagell said that he enjoys working on Longboat Key because of the appreciation he gets from citizens.
“Longboat Key is a really unique place,” he said. “You get a lot of positive contact with the community. Part of our job is looking after people.”
Officer Shawn Nagell
Hometown: Aurelius, N.Y.
Family: Married with one son
Hobbies: Boating, motorcycle riding and ancestry work
The Kiwanis Club of Longboat Key will honor its 2010 Firefighter of the Year and Police Officer of the Year at its weekly breakfast meeting at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, March 10, at the Longboat Key Club and Resort’s Harbourside Grille, 3000 Harbourside Drive. Contact Bob Gault at 387-8458 or John Wild at 383-4253.
Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected]