The Council Bluffs Noon Rotary Club honored a trio of public safety officials for their dedication to the community during a ceremony Thursday at the Hoff Arts & Culture Center.
Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Deputy Pennie Smith, Council Bluffs Police Capt. Mike Limberg and Council Bluffs Fire Capt. Chad Parrott were lauded for their contributions at the annual event.
“I love working with the department. It’s a great group of guys to work with,” said Smith, a 22-year veteran of the sheriff’s office who also served in the military from 1995 to 2018.
Smith said her favorite part of the job is helping people.
“I couldn’t be happier to have her on my team,” Sheriff Andy Brown said of Smith.
Brown and Smith joined the road patrol around the same time, working together for years.
“One of the hardest-working deputies I’ve ever known,” Brown told the Notary crowd, noting Smith’s dedication to the job and her work helping keep drunk drivers off the road, arresting drug offenders and domestic abusers while working to stop other crimes. “For that season she was nominated and is now here to accept the award. She’s kept our community safe.”
Police Chief Tim Carmody credited Lindberg, who’s been with the department for four years, for his work in 2020, which included 40 drunk driving arrests and the recovery of 13 stolen vehicles, which led to six arrests.
Police Capt. Greg Schultz accepted the award on behalf of Lindberg, who couldn’t make the event.
“Mike is exactly what we hope to get when we hire new officers,” Schultz said. “I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve sent him emails thanking him for the great job he does. Thank you on Mike’s behalf and thank you to the midnight shift.”
Fire Chief Justin James, who also served as emcee of the awards portion of the event, credited Parrott with not only being a great firefighter himself, but also making his colleagues better. Parrott travels the country taking fire training courses and brings that knowledge back to Council Bluffs.
“Chad and crew have spent hours of their own time designing training props, building obstacles. This ensures when people come to our training facility they never know what they’re getting into. That’s much like the real world. Chad’s impact on our department has been multiplied by his leadership and his ability to get others involved and always seeking the best information — looking at intricate details of how we can shave seconds off,” actions at an emergency scene. “He did it knowing that that training could be applied in the real world when seconds count.”
James recounted a fire call in September 2020, where firefighters rescued two children from the second story of a house engulfed in flames. The crew picked through a room full of debris and household items to rescue the kids.
“Chad wasn’t physically on this rescue, but his hours of training are responsible for the seconds saved in this instance. They’d been there before — in a training scenario similar with a room with clothes and toys on the floor, (etc.),” James said.
Parrott, who’s been with the department just shy of 19 years, said training in realistic conditions of great importance.
Parrott said a quote from Assistant Fire Chief Jim Wheat regarding training about thinking about not only the roughly 100 firefighters that die in a blaze every year, but also the roughly 3,000 citizens who die annually in fires.
“Every day I think about that,” Parrott said.
About the award, he said, “It means a lot.
“It’s about service to the community. That’s what I want to do, that means a lot to me,” he said. “That’s why I go to work every day.”