Francis Scott Key Post 11, American Legion named Frederick Police Department’s Officer First Class Willie Buntley its 2020-2021 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year recently, recognizing him for his pattern of service to the Frederick community.
The award recognizes an officer of the agency for continued exhibition of going above and beyond the assigned job role, whether on or off duty.
The agency submitted Buntley for the award, saying in the application, “In a time when we need a true hero to build bridges, Officer Willie Buntley has done just that.”
OFC Buntley, who also received the 2020 Do-Gooder Award in Frederick County, has been with Frederick Police Department for approximately nearly two years. Before coming to Frederick, he spent two years working at Rockville Police Department and before that he worked for more than three years as a police officer in Birmingham, Alabama.
“Being new to the force, and to the community, Frederick has been great to me,” Buntley said. “I’ve just tried to go above and beyond for the youth and the adults to show them that living a positive lifestyle is a good way to go.”
Albeit a short tenure, OFC Buntley, who originally served on FPD’s patrol squad “C” before being transferred to the Outreach unit, has quickly made a positive impression in Frederick. Buntley and a squad mate received the Life Saving Award for helping a woman in March 2019 escape her home, which had caught fire unbeknownst to her. OFC Buntley, 36, has been a pillar for the police agency through his efforts on the department’s Outreach Unit to interact with the local youth. In addition to his general police duties, he represents the agency as a School Resource Officer at Monocacy Elementary School.
Buntley is always willing to lend a hand to someone in need. In February 2020, Buntley and other officers banded together to acquire a new pair of glasses free of charge for a child who was holding his together with duct tape, and was afraid of being picked on in school. In June, OFC. Buntley took it upon himself to buy clothes for a local homeless man who could not find clothes in his size through the usual local organizations. He has also used his own money to buy baby items for families in need in his neighborhood.
“It’s not about the awards or the publicity,” Buntley said. “Because with or without that you’re going to get the same friendly guy I’ve always been.”
There is a planned ceremony to honor OFC. Buntley in May, subject to COVID-19 rules at the time. OFC. Buntley will now be considered for the state law enforcement officer of the year.