VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The best of the best among area law enforcement were honored recently at the Greater Hampton Roads Regional Crime Lines annual awards dinner.
One officer was chosen from each department, with one of those officers then selected as the "Top Cop" for all of Hampton Roads.
This year that honor went to Master Police Officer Eli Kendrick of the Virginia Beach Police Department.
As part of the Ready Response Team, MPO Kendrick focuses on crime trends.
It requires a lot of hard work and research until all the pieces of a case come together, like when there was a string of home break-ins last year.
MPO Kendrick did everything he could to track down the robber: analyzing a shoe impression, tracking down surveillance video and even finding a stolen laptop by getting the computer to send its GPS location to the victim`s phone.
When there was a number of break-ins around Christmas, he threw himself into his work again to find the person responsible.
"I had watched video footage of him knocking on doors for a long time. I just re-watched them over and over," said MPO Kendrick.
Because of that, he was able to identify the suspect when he realized it was the same person involved in a separate case he was working.
His commitment to serving goes far beyond his time with the police department.
He's currently in the Air Force reserves, and before becoming an officer, he served in the Marine Corps for 12 years.
That experience played a big role in another case he was involved in over the past year, when a Marine in mental crisis barricaded himself in a hospital room.
"He wanted to speak to me. He said he wanted to speak with a Marine, so I spoke with him through the door," explained MPO Kendrick.
His connection helped officers get the man out safely.
As a police officer, every day is different, but no matter the case MPO Kendrick says it all comes down to one thing.
"You get to help people a lot, whether that means helping a kitty cat out of the tree or the unfortunate incidents where you're involved in shootings. Those things happen and that's the dynamic and it goes from one thing to another, but bottom line is your helping people, and I do enjoy that," said MPO Kendrick.