Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan presented the Excellence in Service Award to Michigan State Police Gaylord Post Trooper Joseph Duff for his work in responding to and investigating domestic abuse cases. Pictured (front, from left) are Duff; Amy Strohpaul, Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan Advocate; (back, from left) Tiffany Weber, Otsego County Victim Advocate; Manda Breuker, Otsego County Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney; and Michael Rola, Otsego County Prosecuting Attorney.
Michigan State Police Gaylord Post Trooper Joseph Duff earned an Excellence in Service Award for his work responding to and investigating domestic abuse cases.
Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRCNM) recognizes law enforcement officers with this annual award in the five counties they serve as part of October’s National Domestic Abuse Awareness Month. Award recipients demonstrate a strong knowledge and understanding of the complexities of domestic violence.
Other honorees for the 2022 Excellence in service award included: Deputy Mark Hazen, Emmet County Sheriff’s Office; Undersheriff Kevin Hoch, Antrim County Sheriff’s Department; Assistant Police Chief Dan Mercer, Boyne City Police Department; and Deputy Daniel Stacks, Cheboygan County Sheriff’s Department.
Michael Rola, Otsego County Prosecuting Attorney, said Duff is deserving of the excellence in service award.
“The award recognizes the involvement of a dedicated member of law enforcement who has expressed insight into not only the investigative aspect of pursuing domestic violence cases, but also into some of the daily difficulties faced by both victims of domestic violence, as well as prosecutors trying to bring a sense of justice,” Rola said.
Duff said when he responds to a domestic violence case, it is important to separate the suspect from the victim because the victim might not feel safe disclosing the abuse in the presence of the perpetrator.
“A lot of times it is difficult for a victim to come forward and talk about what has happened to them. The ways that I try to help alleviate this is by being a good listener and giving encouragement. I want the victims to know that we are on their side and are always there for them if they need our help.”
Michigan State Police Gaylord Post Sgt. Roger Craig said, “Trooper Duff is steadfast, honest and treats everyone he encounters with grace and dignity. His dedication to helping community members is second to none, and he provides this service with complete disregard for his own well-being. No matter what the call or circumstances, if you need him, he will always answer.”
Manda Breuker, Otsego County Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, said that Duff is always willing to put the work into his investigations so that the Prosecutor’s Office can do an evidence-based prosecution.
“It is crucial for victims of domestic violence to work with a law enforcement officer who understands the dynamics of domestic violence and looks out for their safety. Trooper Duff recognizes this and always does thorough investigations, and our office is grateful for his work,” Breuker said.
Otsego County Victim Advocate Tiffany Weber is familiar with Duff’s work ethic through her work in the prosecutor’s office. She said Duff is a great asset when working with domestic violence cases because he goes the extra mile to ensure victims are the priority.
“Trooper Duff has the skills in place to recognize the complexities that are involved in domestic violence cases, and it shows,” Weber said.