Officer Mark Dale Receives Don Smith Award


Jan. 24, 2012

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Don Smith Award winner MPO Mark Dale (center) with sons Connor and William, and honorable award recipient Judith Uhrmacher (right) with the Board of Supervisors and EAC representatives.

Two outstanding Fairfax County employees were recognized by the Board of Supervisors during its Jan. 24 meeting, when the Employees Advisory Council presented the annual Don Smith Award. The award honors employees who contribute to the well-being of fellow employees in an outstanding manner and outside of their typical duties.

Master Police Officer Mark Dale, Police Department, received the 2012 Don Smith Award. Judith Uhrmacher, Circuit Court-Criminal Division, received an honorable mention. Certificates of recognition were presented to Kathy Herr, McLean Community Center; Patricia Hine and Sahanna Karpoor, Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board; Meredith King, Fire and Rescue Department; and Howard Mergler, Police Department.

Dale was honored for his dedication to officers involved in lethal force incidents. After his own a deadly force encounter, Dale created an “Officer Involved Shooting Group.” The group, founded in 2008, provides a forum for officers to share concerns with their peers who have been in similar situations and with the Police Department’s psychologist.

Uhrmacher was recognized for her excellence in motivating, team building and mentoring. She is instrumental in motivating other employees to participate in activities such as an annual Thanksgiving food drive for local food banks, setting up a competition with other units to collect the most food. 

The Don Smith EAC Award was established by the Employees Advisory Council in 1991 to honor Donald D. Smith, a longtime county employee who served on the EAC for 17 years, before his retirement in 1990.

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