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November 28, 2014

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Joe Downtown: Metro cop in line for national ‘officer of the year’ award

Sgt. Chris Curtis

Sgt. Chris Curtis

A Metro Police sergeant whose can-do attitude has created admirers of many new people and businesses downtown is a finalist in an officer of the year contest sponsored by Officer.com.

Sgt. Chris Curtis, who the website says has been with Metro almost 20 years, worked in the Downtown Area Command. Downtown colleagues nominated him for the award, said Officer Jose Hernandez, a Metro spokesman.

Curtis' nomination includes a video showing him working in various aspects of a program he developed called Downtown 360. A description attached to the video describes the program as bringing downtown communities together “to resist crime and bring the good out in people – where they live, where they work and go to school.”

It shows children painting over graffiti on utility boxes, officers dressed as construction cones trying to slow traffic to allow pedestrians to walk across Main Street at Foremaster Lane, and a touch football game with employees of a downtown business.

“It’s good for us to do something fun with local businesses, so we can get to know each other better,” he says in the video.

Curtis is one of five finalists, listed fourth out of the five with 291 votes. People who visit officer.com can vote.

The vote leader is Jason Gresko, a Cleveland Clinic police officer. The site says he died in a car accident on a call to to assist his colleagues.

Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown, he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.

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