(From NJ.Com 7/8/17)
BY OLIVIA RIZZO
HAMILTON -- Career change is never easy but for one local police officer, it's become a truly rewarding experience. Frank Palmieri was an assistant golf professional for over 12 years before he made the switch to law enforcement. "After 9/11 I had a strong pull to work toward the military or civil service," Palmieri said, "so I took the civil service exam and was lucky enough to have been placed in hometown." Now a detective, Palmieri has been serving his hometown community as a police officer for the last eight years. And this year he was named the 42nd Hamilton Kiwanis Club Officer of the Year. The award has been made all the more special this year as Palmieri is lifelong Hamilton resident. The Kiwanis Club of Hamilton Township honors an officer from a group of peer-nominated officers who have shown their dedication to the community and the police force.
"If I was an officer anywhere I'd still do my job to the fullest, but it's a special place to me," Palmieri said, "I've been able to give back to where I grew up." Palmieri said he was, "honored, and excited, and shocked," when he found out he was selected as this year's award recipient. He describes the experience as a humbling honor, especially because he was selected by his peers. "We're a big family," Palmieri said when describing the camaraderie between his fellow officers. His favorite part of his line of work has been helping the local community, something that many residents don't get the chance to see in the day to day operations of their police force. "You're not just out there looking for criminals and trying to lock people up," Palmieri said, "we're counselors for marriage disputes, and we're mentors for kids." Palmieri said his career and life would not have been possible without the love and support of his family.
Olivia Rizzo may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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