Four officers and a dispatcher honored Thursday at the second annual Bellefontaine Police Department Awards Ceremony went above and beyond their daily duties, Chief Brandon Standley said, and deserved recognition for their efforts.
“They don’t need the awards to continue to do their job,” the chief told the 120 attendees inside the First Church of God’s fellowship hall. “But it will continue to happen as long as I’m here.”
Receiving medals of merit were Officer Roger Hager, Sgt. D. Allen Shields and Officer Jason Lapp.
Officer Roger Hager, second from left, is presented with a medal of merit Thursday by Bellefontaine Police Chief Brandon Standley during the department's second annual awards ceremony at the First Church of God's fellowship hall. (EXAMINER STAFF PHOTOS)
Reading from the citations for the medals, Chief Standley said Officer Hager has shown outstanding leadership in organizing an honor guard from local law enforcement agencies. This honor guard handles responsibilities for the annual police memorial services and for funerals of former lawmen.
Sgt. Allen Shields, left, recipient of two medals of merit, is congratulated by Chief Brandon Standley.
Officer Jason Lapp, left, is presented with an American Legion award.
Chuck Croutwater, left, stands with Officer Jason Boy who received a Lifesaving award for his efforts to resuscitate Mr. Croutwater on Oct. 31, 2012.
Kimberly Rhoads-Tackett receives the Dispatcher of the Year award.
Sgt. Shields received two medals of merit, one for his leadership of the first Citizens Police Academy, and the other for his actions as an officer on April 7, 1992, which led to the peaceful resolution of a standoff with a man armed with a sawed-off shotgun.
Officer Lapp was honored for his initial investigative work after Tiffany Brown was reported missing Feb. 12, 2011.
“It was not the typical missing person report,” the chief said. “It turned out to be much more.
“His extraordinary work over the weekend led to the identification and capture of Tiffany’s killer.”
Officer Lapp also received the American Legion Award.
Officer Jason Boy and Dispatcher Kimberly Rhoads-Tackett received Lifesaving Awards.
Officer Boy was off duty on Oct. 31, 2012, when Chuck Croutwater fell to the floor of a local restaurant. The officer began immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation efforts and comforted the victim’s wife after the arrival of paramedics of the Bellefontaine Fire & EMS Department.
Ms. Rhoads-Tackett was working Feb. 1, 1999, the chief recounted, and received a call from a city woman. The call ended strangely and the dispatcher instinctively felt something was amiss.
She dispatched a squad to the woman’s home and the squad was able to provide lifesaving medical attention.
Tom Stickrath, director of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, was the keynote speaker.
He gave an overview of BCI’s work, noting that DNA testing three years ago took 125 days to process. Now, BCI is processing samples in 23 days despite a 34 percent increase in submissions.
“We’re going to get it lower,” he said.
The state added 28 scientists in the past three years and will add more as the state focuses on reviewing old evidence kits from rapes.
Chief Standley also brought back peer recognition awards.
The merit awards and the livesaving awards are nominated by supervisors and then reviewed by a committee of three. The chief approves the award.
For the peer recognition, each officer has to write a paragraph supporting his choice for officer of the year and dispatcher of the year.
Detective Craig Comstock was officer of the year and Ms. Rhoads-Tackett was dispatcher of the year.
BPD also recognized individuals and organizations for their volunteer efforts. Volunteers recognized were Rick Core, Pat Tynan, Alex Wilson, the First Church of God and Liberty National Bank.