Lt. Joe Babkiewicz of the Bluffton Police Department has been honored as a recipient of the 2016 “International Association of Chiefs of Police 40 under 40 Award.”

This award recognizes 40 law enforcement professionals under the age of 40 from around the world who demonstrate leadership and exemplify commitment to their profession.

“I have had the privilege to work with many talented officers throughout my career,” said Chief Joey Reynolds. “We are blessed here at the Bluffton Police department to have not only talented members of the command staff but also throughout the department. Lt. Babkiewicz has displayed skills and abilities that have set him up for this award. He has done a tremendous job in his current role as the investigations commander.”

Award winners had to be 18 to 39 years old, employed by a federal, state, local or tribal law enforcement agency, demonstrate values and commitment to law enforcement and have a capacity for leadership.

“I am sure that there were many individuals who were highly qualified to be nominated and selected for this award. I think that what may have stood out for me is the outstanding work of my fellow teammates,” Babkiewicz said. “The men and women that I work with on a daily basis have done some extraordinary things in such a short amount of time. Together, we have successfully solved three homicides within our town, taken down numerous drug houses and helped raise money to place AED’s in our police vehicles.”

The lieutenant said it was not one person who accomplished those goals, but a group with whom he enjoys working.

“Also the mentorship that I have received from Chief Reynolds and Major Manning has helped me mature as a young leader,” Babkiewicz added. “Throughout the past few years, I have seen myself grow through this mentorship and become a better person and leader for my fellow officers.”

Babkiewicz joined the Bluffton Police Department in 2008 and is currently in charge of the Criminal Investigations Division.

Before coming to the Bluffton, he was a patrol officer and K-9 handler with the Bloomfield Police Department in Connecticut.

He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Ashford University and a master’s in public administration from Liberty University.

Babkiewicz is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy, 254th Session.

Gwyneth J. Saunders is a veteran journalist and freelance writer living in Bluffton