June 26, 2015

It’s About Honoring Service

Optimist Club of Saginaw

Officer Ed“Ed was an true optimist,” said Louis Diechman, member of the Optimist Club of Saginaw and the “Officer Ed” Nowaczyk Scholarship Selection

When Edwin F. “Officer Ed” Nowaczyk passed away in 1985, the Optimist Club of Saginaw, of which he was a long-time member, wanted to do something to remember him. “The club decided it would honor ‘Officer Ed’ by creating a scholarship in his honor to remember the work he had done with child safety programs and law enforcement in Saginaw,” said Diechman.

By early 1986, the club raised $2,000 from its members and appealed to the community at-large to donate. The scholarship – the first one
established at Saginaw Community Foundation – has been awarded annually since 1987 to a Saginaw County high school senior pursuing a degree in criminal justice or law enforcement. Kim Sebold was the first recipient of the scholarship.

During his 38-year career as an officer, Ed was responsible for the school pedestrian and traffic safety programs. He was instrumental in helping develop the school safety patrol program. He also served as an accident investigator, police community relations specialist and juvenile investigator with the Saginaw Police Department. “Officer Ed” received several letters of commendation and was the first recipient of the Saginaw Police Department’s “Lifetime Meritorious Service Award.”

In just about every elementary classroom in Saginaw, “Officer Ed” spoke to children about bicycle and traffic safety. He provided a break from the daily classroom routine and warned about the dangers of riding a bicycle on the wrong side of the street or walking out from between parked cars.
If a child were ever injured in an accident, “Officer Ed” made sure to visit that child in the hospital or at their home.

Following “Officer Ed’s” passing in 1985, then Saginaw Police Chief Alex Perez said: “(Ed) probably did the most to enhance sound community relations between the police department and the community than any other person on the department. He was highly thought of, not only by the schools but also by the community. Parents knew him when they were students and their children knew him.”

Over the past 28 years, more than $38,000 has been awarded in scholarships to aide students in pursuit of criminal justice or law enforcement degrees.



“He was a big man in a blue uniform, with a round face that always wore a smile. If that smile faded and a frown replaced it, someone knew he’d better shape-up quick. His hands were enormous; they patted heads, restrained a rowdy boy, soothed a crying child and, with a tender touch, wiped away tears caused by a scraped knee. He had a huge, white hankerchief just for that purpose. I wonder if he knew how he brightened the lives of kids.”
Dora A. Musico, Guest Columnist,

The Saginaw News 

Sept. 16, 1985