Troop D – Kittanning – of the Pennsylvania State Police took a few minutes yesterday to honor one of their own.
Nickolas R. Elliott, 27, was named “Trooper of the Year” in a special ceremony held at the Kittanning barracks.
Lt. Eric Simko announced the award before fellow troopers, and other representatives of various organizations.
Simko, in his remarks, praised Elliott for his accomplishments.
“He is always in a good mood, has a smile on his face, and presents himself very well,” Simko said. “For the year 2018, Nick made 67 DUI arrests. He had 23 DUI drug arrests, 31 drug/alcohol DUI arrests, and 13 DUI with drug possession arrests.”
Simko said the “Trooper of the Year” designation was open to all state troopers in Kittanning. He said he asked for not only votes, but feedback by other troopers of the person they would like to have designated.
“Trooper Elliott had the vast majority of votes from his peers,” Simko said. “It’s one thing to be selected by supervisors, but for his peers to pick him and tell how he interacts with them, that says the most about him.”
Elliott also serves the station as a firearms instructor.
ACMH Hospital President/CEO John Lewis described Elliott as “a calming influence” at the hospital. ACMH Foundation, in addition to the Armstrong County District Attorney’s office are sponsors of the award.
Troop D Captain Steve Ignatz said Elliott stands out regularly among his peers.
“Every morning, I get a report from all the stations in the troop. Nick’s name is listed on there every night after his shift because he is always out doing something to improve the community. When he takes this many impaired drivers off the road, he is preventing a lot of families from having tragedy. Thank you, Nick, to your commitment to your duties,” Ignatz said.
Elliott, in an interview with the Kittanning Paper, said his desire to be a state trooper started back in high school.
“I went to the barracks for the first time to job shadow in high school. From there, I fell in love with the job, saw what they do, help people every day. I went through college in Criminal Justice and started with the State Police in liquor control enforcement, then moved up to be a trooper. I love working here. I love the people and being with my coworkers every day.”
Elliott, who is married, said he occasionally brings work home in his mind of something that may have been unpleasant.
“It’s nice to come home to a supportive wife. She helps calm me down as well. It’s a good family life at home.”
His wife, Brittany, said his work values are also characterized in his home life.
“He works really hard. Everything they have said about him, he is at home as well. When we started dating seven years ago, he has always talked about becoming a trooper.”
Elliott received a plaque and was treated to a pizza party by his fellow troopers.