MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County’s local law enforcement officials gathered to recognize their staff and officers for a job well done in 2016 during the third annual Miami County Law Enforcement Awards Ceremony Thursday night.
Miami County Sheriff’s Office Sheriff Dave Duchak said the awards ceremony is held every year to recognize the hard work law enforcement staff does every day.
“I think it takes some pretty special and amazing people to do this job day in and day out and bear witness to the bad and evil in our society,” Duchak said. “So I’d like to personally thank each and every one of you who serves. And on those days you feel second guessed and criticized for doing your job, and you feel you’ve had enough, the vast, vast majority of your fellow county residents appreciate you more than you know and that has been more evidenced than ever to me with the outpouring of support to all of our agencies in the last 18 months.”
Duchak shared how local residents have dropped off cookies, pizza and other tokens of appreciation to law enforcement agencies to show their support.
“Point being, there’s way more good than bad and society needs you now more than ever. God bless you for your service,” said Duchak in closing.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Piqua Post Lt. Joseph Gebhart said, “It is good to take a moment and stop and just reflect on the great things that are going on. I’m so proud of the work of the men and women do in this county. I’m so proud of the partnerships we have to be able to come together and celebrate as one big family — it’s good stuff and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
Gebhart recognized Sgt. Dave Robison as the State Chiaramonte Humanitarian Award for 2016. Gebhart said Piqua Post has won the Humanitarian Award three times in the last four years. Robison raised money to buy a post employee an electric wheelchair, which he picked up in Pennsylvania. Robison’s compassion also went viral last year after praying with a speeding motorist who posted his gratitude on Facebook which caught national attention.
“The reality is that (Robison) took a moment and showed compassion for an individual who was struggling and that individual didn’t like law enforcement very much,” Gebhart shared. “But he did appreciate that moment and it meant a great deal to him and he posted it on Facebook. That reflects well on all of us.”
The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 58 awarded Patrolman Jeremy Weber, Jocinda Johns and Jamie Stahl Community Service Awards for their ongoing efforts with the Pennies for Malissa 5K. The annual event raises money in memory of Malissa who was a victim of fatal child abuse in April 2012. The group organized the event to raise money for the child’s headstone which has been set. The group will now continue their efforts to raise funds for a scholarship in the child’s name. The annual 5K will be 9 a.m. Saturday, May 27 at Forest Hill Cemetery in Piqua.
The FOP Lodge also recognized Capt. Tom Wheeler and Capt. Dave Norman with Community Service Awards for their service during the passing of the late Sheriff Charles Cox in November 2016.
Chiefs and department leaders recognized officers and staff members who went above and beyond their call of duty throughout the previous year:
• Miami County Sheriff’s Office tapped Deputy Chase Underwood as 2016 Deputy of the Year. Miami County Sheriff’s Office corrections department named Perry Gullette as Corrections Office of the Year.
• Miami County Communication Center director Jeff Busch presented Shannon Adams as employee of the year.
• Covington Police Department Chief Lee Harmon presented Patrolman Timothy Cline as Officer of the Year.
• West Milton Police Department’s Chief Harry Busse presented Officer Ryan Ingle as the 2016 Officer of the Year.
• Tipp City Police Department’s Chief Eric Burris presented Officer Bruce Mancz with the 2016 Officer of the Year award.
• Piqua Police Department’s Chief Bruce Jamison presented Officer Jeremy Koehler the 2016 Officer of the Year. Chief Jamison also recognized Officer Adam Kimpel and Office Alan Yount with a Lifesaving Award. Deputy Chief Marty Grove also was awarded the Lifesaving Award.
• Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Joe Gebhart presented Trooper Eric Devers as the 2016 Trooper of the Year and Ashley Thomas as Dispatcher of the Year. Thomas was also named the OSHP’s District Dispatcher of the Year.
Miami County Sheriff’s Office Awards: Deputies Richard Manns, Scott Lade, Andy Leininger, Jeremy Adams (two awards), and Ryan Stein were recognized for their efforts with a Life Saving Award for 2016. Deputy Nathan Jessup and Deputy Brad Kline were commended for their work ethic in 2016. Lt. Michael Whaley and Deputy Warren Edmondson were awarded commendations for their efforts to restart the Citizen’s Police Academy last fall.
Miami County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Department Awards: Lieutenant Nate Collett, C.O. Mark Larger, Co. Perry Gullette, C.O. Angel Robinson were awarded Life Saving Awards. Assistant Jail Administrator Michael Marion and secretaries Carol Foster and Rene Ingle were awarded commendations for their efforts following the unexpected passing of CCW clerk Susan Reed.
The ceremony was led by President of the F.O.P. Lodge 58 President Billie Ray and led in prayer by Chaplain Greg Simmons. The event was held in Covington’s new K-8 building.
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