City of Independence, Missouri

Jennifer Polston receives Susan Paxton Block Award



INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – Jennifer Polston, Animal Services Manager in the Animal Control Division of the Independence Health Department, has been named the recipient of the 2017 Susan Paxton Block Award for Distinguished Public Service.


The Susan Block award is presented annually to a City employee, volunteer or elected official who has demonstrated outstanding public service, valor, and job performance with leadership. Junior Service League Past-president Cantrell Wenzel presented the award at the September 18 City Council meeting.


“The Susan Paxton Block Award is the highest honor bestowed on a City employee or volunteer, and Jennifer has truly earned the respect and admiration of her peers as the 2017 recipient,” Mayor Eileen Weir said. “Our city employees and volunteers are essential to the success of our entire community, and Jennifer’s commitment to customer service and professionalism are a credit to her and reflect positively on all of Independence.”


In her nomination, Polston was praised for her dedication to excellence for the welfare of animals, whether assisting in their removal from unsanitary living conditions, securing donations of dog houses, food, leashes and needed medications for animals in need, or implementing education programs for other agencies. Her ability to remain calm and professional when working in volatile situations was cited, along with her continuing goal to provide necessary training for her staff.


“With so many dedicated and compassionate individuals working to improve the lives of those in our community, it is a great honor to have been selected as this year’s recipient,” Polston said. “I have had the privilege of serving the citizens of Independence for the past 11 years and I will continue working to improve the lives of both our citizens and the animals in our community.”


The Junior Service League, of which Block was a second-generation member and served as president in 1989-1990, presents the award annually at the City Council meeting just prior to Block’s birthday, September 24.