MILPITAS (CBS SF) — Officer Joseph Heylen was selected by the Milpitas Police Department as its 2012 Officer of the Year.

Heylen, an officer in Milpitas since October 2001, is a motorcycle officer in the department’s traffic safety unit, as well as a member of the SWAT team, mobile field force, and firearms, chemical agents and Taser instructor, according to the police.

“Joe’s willingness to come in before his normal shift and on his days off to assist other officers is a testament to his strong work ethic and dedication,” police Chief Steve Pangelinan said in a statement of Heylen.

Heylen’s notable performance in 2012 came in August when he utilized officer safety techniques to control a suicidal man with a pistol and arrest him without incident, according to police.

In addition to his regular tasks, Heylen has been instrumental in helping investigate complex traffic collisions, police said.

His expertise has enabled other officers to establish what happened, police said.

Heylen also coordinated the school valet program, which ensures children to be safely dropped off and picked up from elementary schools.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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