Range police officer wins AF award

  • Published
  • By Samuel King Jr.
  • Team Eglin Public Affairs
After setting aside her Air Force blues and security forces beret, Janine Hank crossed into police officer blue in 2007.  Eight years later, she's wearing and protecting the blue and recently named the Air Force's Security Forces civilian of the Year.

Officer Hank was notified on her selection in the GS- 5-9 category in January by her leadership.  She said she didn't realize how big of an award it was until she received congratulations from her previous commanders.

"I am very humbled," said the 34-year-old Hank. "I believe my recognition is a direct result of the efforts of my entire shift, military members included, and the teamwork exhibited through every challenge that is thrown at us." 

Hank is one of many police officers assigned to patrol Eglin's range and reservation.  She has the distinction of patrolling those roads on the nightshift.

"Patrolling at night can have its challenges. Not walking through spider webs are obviously made more difficult with limited visibility," said the Texas native assigned to the 96th Security Forces Squadron.  "However, I really enjoy it. I appreciate working in a profession that does not restrict me to an office and gives me a lot of independence."

Hank said she's seen it all on patrol from criminal trespassing, stranded jet-ski riders to helping thwart nighttime poaching of wildlife.

In her role as a range police officer, she's been at the front of several accidents. During those incidents, she ensured the proper procedures were followed helped gain control of traumatic situations including last year's UH-60 mishap, according to her award package.

"(Hanks) selection for this award comes as no surprise to those of us familiar with her caliber, commitment and dedication as a police officer," said Officer Israel Ocasio, the police superintendent for the 96th SFS.  "She is an excellent representation of the Air Force civilian police program and we are very proud of her accomplishments."

In the times between patrols and investigations, Hank earned her Criminal Justice bachelor's degree with concentration on forensics in 2015.  She is also a certified base defense operations center controller.  But what keeps her in the blue uniform and badge is the connection she's able to forge with the individuals she works with and meets each day.

"Law enforcement is about interacting with the public and being in a position to help people," she said.