Union Police Lt. Andrew Parker was honored with the Union Area Chamber of Commerce’s Shield Award for First Responders.
The award was presented during the 47th annual Distinguished Service Award banquet Saturday, Feb. 3, in the city hall auditorium.
The honor was presented by last year’s recipient, retired Union Police Officer Mike Joyce.
“For the last 39 years, Andy has faithfully served the citizens of this community with pride, integrity and fortitude,” Joyce said.
When Joyce joined the Union Police Department’s reserve force in 1989, Parker had been a patrolman for five years.
Joyce said he first noticed Parker was a keen observer.
“As the years passed, I noticed that Andy was gifted in all aspects of street patrol duties. It didn’t matter what the call was, if Andy was on duty, he could handle it,” he said.
Parker started out as a first responder with the Union Volunteer Fire Department in 1979.
He worked on the rescue squad through 1990 and served with the Union Ambulance from 1980-1993 as both an EMT and a board member for many years.
In 1984, he started his career with the Union Police Department as a patrolman, where he “worked diligently and soon became one of the top producers, and a leader, in the department,” the nomination form notes.
Parker was promoted to sergeant in October 1995. “During that time, he supervised a number of officers that he mentored, molded and counseled,” Capt. Kyle Kitcher said in the nomination.
“Andy is, above all, one of the most caring, responsive and driven officers I have had the pleasure to work with in my career,” Kitcher said.
Parker is the longest running sergeant in the department’s history with just under 20 years.
“Andy set the bar for our patrol sergeants today,” Kitcher said. As a sergeant he maintained not only the required statistics and supervisory duties, but also was consistently a top responder to calls for service and traffic complaints.”
In 2013, Parker was named Officer of the Year for the Union Police Department. The recipient of that award is voted on by the supervisory staff of the department.
In 2015, Parker was promoted to a lieutenant and serves as the head of the patrol division.
“I can’t tell you how many times I took my hat off to Andrew over the years for the way he handled himself in difficult situations. It didn’t matter what the situation was . . . You name it, Andrew was the man for the job,” Joyce said.
Parker and his wife, Tracy, have four children: Zachary, Sarah, Emma and Sophia, and two grandchildren.
He is active at Faith Church, Sunset Hills.
Parker thanked the Chamber, city officials, his family, and community members for the honor and for standing by his side over the years.