STAFFORD, NJ - Every year the Stafford Township Police Department presents a very prestigious award that recognizes one of their officers. This award is the "Police Officer of the Year" award. 

All of the Stafford Township Police Officers vote on one officer who they believe "embodies a quality work ethic, a high degree of professionalism, motivation, dedication and integrity that enhances the police image thus distinguishing themselves within the law enforcement community."

The "2016 Police Officer of the Year" was awarded to Patrol Officer Erik Smithman. Ptl. Smithman was chosen for his great "dedication and commitment to the department, the community, and his profession."

Ptl. Smithman was hired in August 2012 and has been the recipient of numerous other departmental awards and commendations throughout the years, said the department.