03/31/11 The Indiana State Police held its annual awards and recognition ceremony Tuesday morning in Indianapolis. The ceremony honored and recognized individuals from around the state for their dedication to service, bravery and devotion to the department and the citizens of Indiana. Those honored were presented awards in categories for Meritorious Service, Life Awards, Trooper of the District, the Ray Reed Memorial Award, Capitol Police Officer of the Year, Outstanding Investigation of the Year, and the Trooper of the Year Award.
This event was conceived by Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell, Ph.D., with the first ceremony being held on February 22, 2006. Superintendent Whitesell felt the need to publicly recognize the achievements, deeds of self sacrifice, and accomplishments that all too often go without the proper recognition.
The “Trooper of the District Award” was selected by the command staff from each of the state police districts across Indiana. Factors district command personnel used to determine the Trooper of the District included, traffic and criminal enforcement, community involvement, specialty team assignments, instructor ratings, and other services performed for the department beyond normal expectations.
This year Trooper Keith Bikowski received the “Trooper of the District Award” for the Bremen Post for his outstanding service to North Central Indiana. Bikowski has been an officer with the state police since 2007. “Keith has earned the respect of his supervisors and fellow troopers through his hard work and tireless dedication to the department,” commented Lt. James Strong, Bremen Post Commander. In addition to his regular duties, Bikowski is also a member of the USRT (Underwater Search Rescue Team), and also plays an instrumental role in the districts effort in combating meth.
Life Awards are presented to the trooper of each district with the highest annual total number of impaired driving arrests. S/Tpr. Robert Murray received the Life Award for the Bremen District for his commitment in removing impaired drivers from Indiana roadways. This is the third year that Murray has earned this distinction. Murray has served the state since his appointment in 1996. Murray is also a Field Training Officer and the District Field Sobriety Training Officer.