Today's police officers balance elements of the job much different than those faced by officers of years past, Vienna Lt. Dave Pelto says.
But in Vienna, PFC Kristin Ruddy "has a 'throwback' mentality to the days gone by, when officers worked with little sleep and sacrificed personal time to be at work, without complaint, simply because they loved to do this job," he said.
That attitude is what helped Ruddy win this year's Charles A. Robinson Respect for Law Enforcement Award, given annually by the Optimist Club of Greater Vienna.
Each year, the honor — named after former longtime Vienna Mayor Charles "Charlie" A. Robinson — is awarded to an officer from both the Vienna and Fairfax County Police Departments based on nominations from commanders.
The honor is given by Robinson's wife, Maud.
Ruddy, a patrol officer, has been with the force since 2007. In addition to her normal duties, she is also a Rape Aggression and Defense Instructor (R.A.D.), running classes that train local women in strategies and techniques that protect them against predators.
"The quality of PFC Ruddy’s instruction has resulted in the development of many strong and confident students who have graduated her classes," Pelto wrote.
Ruddy also helps welcome new officers to the force as a field training instructor, taking them from the police academy and preparing them for the street.
"PFC Ruddy has a positive approach to her duties which enables her to reason and resolve situations involving people of all ages, personalities and motivations," Pelto said. "[She] is a positive role model to new officers and is a credit to the Vienna Police Department."
Ruddy comes from a family of those in law enforcement: Her sister, Amanda, is a dispatcher at the Vienna Police Department. The pair's father is also a sergeant with the Connecticut State Police.
For more on Ruddy's career, and working relationship with her sister, click here.