Skip to main content

Ohio State Highway Patrol announces 2023 Leadership Awards

Ohio State Highway Patrol, Press Release

The Ohio State Highway Patrol announced the recipients of their 2023 Leadership Awards this month. The ceremony recognizes dozens of state and district award winners for their valuable contributions to Ohio and our communities.

Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper of the Year – Trooper Evan M. Hill

Trooper Evan M. Hill, Canton Post, earned top honors as the 2023 State Trooper of the Year. He was selected from nine District Troopers of the Year across the state.

Trooper Hill was selected by his peers for his efforts and dedication to the Patrol’s mission of Service with a Purpose. He strives to make Stark County safer by using traffic stops to educate the public in a professional manner. He also looks beyond the traffic stop to ensure that any criminal activity is addressed. He became a Drug Recognition Expert in 2019 and shares his knowledge with his fellow troopers; because of this, his shifts lead the post in OVI enforcement, criminal patrol and stolen vehicle recoveries.

Trooper Hill initiated 16 felony criminal arrest case investigations and seized seven illegal weapons. He also recovered six stolen vehicles valued at $133,000. Throughout the year, he made 142 OVI arrests and investigated 43 crashes. Trooper Hill had 99 safety belt and 17 distracted driving enforcements. He maintains the highest quality while generating a large number of enforcements. He’s known by his peers as a reliable teammate who leads by example and has earned the respect of those he works for through his sound decision-making skills. He always maintains a professional image for himself and the Patrol. He volunteers for community details such as Can the Cruiser, Ronald McDonald Basketball Charity Events and donates his time teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Trooper Hill comes from a legacy of outstanding officers; his grandfather, Patrolman Morris Hill, was named Policeman of the Year of the Warren Police Department in 1969. His father, Ohio State Highway Patrol retired Captain Marvin Hill, was selected as the 1999 State Trooper of the Year. 

Trooper Hill became a member of the 160th Academy Class in April 2016. He earned his commission in September of that year and was assigned to the Canton Post, where he has served his entire career. He has earned the ACE Award for excellence in auto larceny enforcement two times and the Criminal Patrol Award four times.

O.W. Merrell Award 2023 – Trooper Shawn D. Grim

The O.W. Merrell Meritorious Service Award was awarded to Patrol officers who have performed an outstanding heroic deed or performed meritorious service of a most distinguished nature. Presented annually when there is a candidate(s), the O.W. Merrell Award is the highest award given for valor by the Ohio State Highway Patrol and is chosen from among the Superintendent’s Citation of Merit recipients. This is the first time the award has been presented since 2008.

On Nov. 14, Trooper Shawn D. Grim, Granville Post, responded to a multiple-vehicle crash involving a fire and trapped passengers who were in a life-threatening situation. Upon arrival, Trooper Grim encountered a passenger bus and a commercial vehicle fully engulfed in flames. He also observed an additional vehicle next to the bus, which was severely damaged. Trooper Grim pried open the damaged door of that vehicle and pulled the driver to safety, undoubtedly saving their life. After rescuing the driver, Trooper Grim entered the engulfed bus to rescue any potentially trapped occupants. On board, he bravely went to the back of the bus and attempted to extinguish the flames while calling out for additional passengers.

During his response to the crash, Trooper Grim showed exceptional courage, resourcefulness and remained calm under pressure. His quick thinking and decisive actions saved a life and prevented further tragedy.

Trooper Grim joined the Patrol in September 2003 as a member of the 141st Academy Class. He earned his commission in March of the following year and was assigned to the Toledo Post. In 2012, he earned the Criminal Patrol Award. In 2013, he was named Post Trooper of the Year.

Ohio State Highway Patrol Dispatcher of the Year – Dispatcher Amy L. De La Pena

Dispatcher Amy L. De La Pena, Bowling Green Post, earned statewide honors as the 2023 Dispatcher of the Year. She was selected from 10 District Dispatcher of the Year recipients from across the state. Dispatcher De La Pena holds herself to a high standard and stands out from other dispatchers. She has a strong work ethic and is prompt and efficient.

Dispatcher De La Pena truly cares about the units she works with and it shows in her job performance. She works a step ahead, making it so troopers from the Bowling Green and Toledo posts rarely have to ask for anything. They feel a strong sense of security because she pays close attention to their voice inflections, and if something does not seem right, she does not hesitate to send backup. 

In September, for example, troopers were in pursuit of two murder suspects from Michigan when gunfire was exchanged. Throughout the incident, she remained calm in her duties and carefully documented all relevant information; all while continuously checking on her units with an ever-present sense of concern in her voice.

Dispatcher De La Pena is also instrumental in community events at the post and in the district. Earlier this year, she volunteered to plan and organize the Bowling Green Post Open House. She collected outdoor games and spent her own money on prizes for all who attended. She also helped plan and organize the Findlay District Family Day. Finally, she organized the Bowling Green Post’s participation in the Wood County Sheriff’s Office Trunk or Treat.

Dispatcher De La Pena joined the Patrol in 2015 as a Dispatcher at the Bowling Green Dispatch Center. She was named Post Dispatcher of the Year and District Dispatcher of the Year in 2021.

Blue Max Award (Patrol’s top auto larceny enforcer) – Trooper Matthew D. Boyer

Trooper Matthew D. Boyer, Cleveland District Criminal Patrol Unit, earned the Blue Max Award for the third consecutive year for recovering the most stolen vehicles of any trooper in 2023. Throughout the year, he recovered 38 stolen vehicles valued at $641,000, which resulted in the apprehension of 52 suspects.

Trooper Boyer joined the Patrol in March 2015 as a member of the 158th Academy Class. He earned his commission in September of that year and was assigned to the Lisbon Post. In 2021, he earned the Superintendent’s Award of Excellence. He has earned the Ace Award for excellence in auto larceny enforcement seven times and the Criminal Patrol Award eight times. In 2019, he earned the Colonel Paul A. Pride State Criminal Patrol Award. He has won the Blue Max Award four times. As a trooper, he also served at the Canfield, Canton and Akron posts as well as the Warren District Criminal Patrol Unit.

Trooper Boyer earned an associate degree in criminal justice from the University of Akron in 2014.

Colonel Paul A. Pride State Criminal Patrol Award – Trooper Jeffery J. Huffman

For the second year in a row, Trooper Jeffery J. Huffman, Bowling Green Post, earned the Colonel Paul A. Pride State Criminal Patrol Award for conducting the most felony case investigations with 107, which led to 131 felony arrests in 2023. Throughout 2023, his criminal seizures consisted of illegal narcotics, criminal proceeds and illegal firearms.

Trooper Huffman joined the Patrol in October 2016 as a member of the 161st Academy Class. He earned his commission in March of the following year and has been assigned to the Bowling Green Post throughout his career. He was selected as Post Trooper of the Year twice. He earned the Ace Award for excellence in auto larceny enforcement four times. He also earned the Criminal Patrol Award six times.

Trooper Huffman earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Bowling Green State University in 2014.

Robert M. Chiaramonte Humanitarian Award – Trooper Adrian E. Wilson

Trooper Adrian E. Wilson, Office of Training, was honored with the Robert M. Chiaramonte Humanitarian Award, which recognizes officers dedicated to humanitarian causes on the highway and in their communities.

Trooper Wilson has made an impact on many lives in the community. During the 2022 holiday season, a mother and father were killed in a crash in Maryland. Trooper Wilson worked with the Maryland State Police to provide presents to their children who relocated to Ohio to live with family. Shortly after, on Feb. 13, 2023, Trooper Wilson was struck by an impaired driver while removing tire debris from Interstate 71. Even though he was seriously injured and faced significant challenges both physically and mentally, he continued to make an impact. He visited schools with gift bags for the children to say thank you to the students who sent him well wishes. He developed the Warrior Recovery Program based on his own experiences. It’s developed to help troopers who have been involved in on-duty incidents with possible career-ending injuries. Trooper Wilson continues to put others first.

Trooper Wilson joined the Patrol in November 2006 as a member of the 147th Academy Class. He earned his commission in June of the following year and was assigned to the Chillicothe Post. He earned the Ace Award for excellence in auto larceny enforcement in 2011. He also earned the Criminal Patrol Award twice. As a trooper, he also served at the Circleville Post.  

Trooper Wilson earned an Associate of Arts degree from Columbus State University in 2005. He served in the United States Marines from 1997 to 2001.

Colonel Thomas W. Rice Leadership Award – Sergeant Jerrold “Trevor” March

Sergeant Jerrold “Trevor” March, Criminal Patrol, was honored with the Colonel Thomas W. Rice Leadership Award, which is presented to one sworn supervisory officer for outstanding leadership. The award is sponsored by the Ohio State Highway Patrol Retirees’ Association and is in honor of former Patrol Superintendent Thomas W. Rice.

Sergeant March developed an advanced search technique class in 2019 geared to help students experience hands-on learning in searching cars with hidden, more advanced compartments. He taught troopers, local law enforcement, and agencies in Indiana and Pennsylvania. He spent countless hours with his father developing hands-on training aids to help give students a more realistic experience. The course was put on hold during the pandemic. 

In 2023, Sergeant March began teaching a search class for the 171st cadet class to give new troopers a starting point for searching cars. He is a hardworking, self-driven worker. His goal is to help others become successful in their careers which is why he also serves as a cadet mentor and enjoys motivating other officers to enhance their skillset. In his free time, he coaches his sons’ basketball teams. He also volunteers with the Shoe Giveaway.

Sergeant March began his Patrol career in June 2005 as a member of the 145th Academy Class. He earned his commission in January of the following year and was assigned to Capitol Operations. As a trooper, he also served at the Circleville Post and the Columbus District Criminal Patrol Team. In 2010, he was named Post Trooper of the Year. He earned the Ace Award for excellence in auto larceny enforcement in 2011. He also earned the Criminal Patrol Award eight times. In 2018, he was promoted to sergeant and remained in Criminal Patrol.

Motor Carrier Enforcement Inspector of the Year – Motor Carrier Enforcement Inspector Dustin L. Friesth 

Motor Carrier Enforcement Inspector (MCEI) Dustin L. Friesth, Bucyrus District Commercial Enforcement Unit, was selected as Motor Carrier Enforcement Inspector of the Year. A motor carrier enforcement inspector’s primary function is to ensure the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles within the state of Ohio. This goal is achieved through education and enforcement of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and PUCO Safety Rules.

MCEI Friesth joined the Patrol in June 2022 as a motor carrier enforcement inspector assigned to the Bucyrus District.

Motor Vehicle Inspector of the Year – Motor Vehicle Inspector Patrick A. Weaver 

Motor Vehicle Inspector (MVI) Patrick A. Weaver, Jackson District Commercial Enforcement Unit, was selected as Motor Vehicle Inspector of the Year. A motor vehicle inspector’s primary function is to certify that school buses comply with all federal and state rules and regulations, ensuring the safety of every child on board. Inspectors also annually conduct roadside vehicle inspections, along with church bus and salvage title inspections.

MVI Weaver joined the Patrol in November 1993 as a student helper assigned to the Gallipolis Post. In 1995, he was promoted to dispatcher and remained at the Gallipolis Post. As a dispatcher, he also served at the Jackson District Dispatch Center. He was promoted to motor vehicle inspector and transferred to Jackson Commercial Enforcement.

In 1995, he earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in manufacturing technology from the University of Rio Grande.

Electronic Technician of the Year – Electronic Technician 2 Christopher L. Stroop

Electronic Technician 2 Christopher L. Stroop, Columbus District, was selected as Electronic Technician of the Year. Electronic Technician 2 Stroop and his team were instrumental in converting all of the Patrol’s vehicles to the new Axon camera system. Supervisors and peers can count on him to be both efficient and effective in completing tasks in a timely manner. His quality of work surpasses expectations, all while being reliable and loyal to the Patrol. He has a positive attitude which reverberates to those around him.

Electronic Technician 2 Stroop began his state career with the Patrol in 2013. He was named District Electronic Technician of the Year in 2021. He was also part of the Electronic Tech Team of the Year in 2017.

Ohio Trooper Recognition Award – Trooper Justin G. Craig

Trooper Justin G. Craig, Toledo District Criminal Investigations Unit, earned the Ohio Trooper Recognition Award. He was selected from 12 recipients from across the state. The award recognizes excellence among troopers who are assigned to specialty positions.

Trooper Craig contributes to the Patrol’s mission of combatting human trafficking and related offenses. His proactive work in enforcing child pornography distribution has led to newsworthy arrests, resulting in convictions and significant prison sentences.

Trooper Craig joined the Patrol in November 2006 as a member of the 147th Academy Class. He earned his commission in June of the following year and was assigned to the Findlay Post. As a trooper, he also served in the Toledo District Criminal Patrol Unit. In 2012, he was named as Post Trooper of the Year. He earned the Criminal Patrol Certificate in 2012 and 2013.

Employee Recognition Award – Infrastructure Specialist 2 Donald R. Lachman

Infrastructure Specialist 2 Donald R. Lachman, Jackson District, received the Employee Recognition Award which is presented annually to recognize excellence by a professional staff member.

Infrastructure Specialist 2 Lachman joined the Patrol in May 2021.

Ohio Investigative Unit Agent of the Year – Enforcement Agent Willie L. Ford

Enforcement Agent Willie L. Ford, Cleveland District Office, was selected as State Agent of the Year out of six district agents from across the state.

Throughout 2023, Agent Ford made significant contributions to OIU’s efforts to provide Service with a Purpose by making himself available to work on some of the most challenging cases and operations. His efforts included conducting undercover investigations which resulted in large drug seizures, participating in violent crime reduction details that resulted in the Cleveland district’s recovery of hundreds of illegal firearms, and assisting agents from other districts when called upon.

Enforcement Agent Ford joined the Ohio Investigative Unit in August 2019. As an enforcement agent he also worked in the Toledo District Office.

Police Officer of the Year – Police Officer 2 Joshua B. Davis

Police Officer 2 Joshua B. Davis, Expo Center, was selected as Police Officer of the Year. Police Officer Davis joined the Patrol in August 2011 as a police officer 2. As a police officer 2 he has also served at the Capitol Operations.  

Officer Davis has proven to be a reliable and dependable asset to the areas he serves. He consistently completes duties thoroughly and enthusiastically; often taking it upon himself to ensure the safety and security of all visiting the Ohio Exposition Center. His exemplary performance was also recognized when he was selected as post Police Officer of the year in 2017.

Family Member Recognition Award – Kendra Slates, Findlay District

Kendra Slates, Findlay District, was selected as the Ohio State Highway Patrol Family Recognition of the Year Award winner. Mrs. Slates stays active in the Bowling Green community by working at the Wood County Hospital. She is an active member of her church where she volunteers with their children’s program and community serve day, a program she helps organize that delivers food to underprivileged community members. 

Alongside her husband, Lt. Evan Slates, Mrs. Slates volunteers her time with the Convoy of Hope. This faith-based nonprofit humanitarian and disaster relief organization provides food, supplies, and humanitarian services to impoverished populations worldwide. At the Findlay Post and Findlay Dispatch Center, she has been instrumental in opening lines of communication for spouses and significant others by establishing a Findlay Post half-unit Facebook page. Whether it’s helping to plan the Post holiday party, preparing food for an open house or organizing the inaugural Findlay Post Community Day, you can always find Mrs. Slates lending a helping hand.

Distinguished Retiree Award – Retired Sergeant Dale L. LaRue, Cleveland District

Retired Sergeant Dale L. LaRue, Cleveland District, was selected as Distinguished Retiree of the Year. Retired Sergeant LaRue was instrumental in helping make the Patrol’s 90th Anniversary Celebration a success through arranging a fleet of vintage Patrol cruisers to appear at many of the post open house celebrations across the state. He coordinated volunteers to drive the vintage Patrol cars from the Cleveland Police Museum to venues in every district. In addition to the 90th Anniversary celebrations, he also displays the vintage fleet of Patrol cruisers at various shows, parades and community events. 

Retired Sergeant LaRue is also responsible for building and maintaining the Trooper James Gross Memorial along Interstate 71 in Ashland County. He coordinates a monthly retirees’ breakfast to stay in touch and build on camaraderie. He has served as the 1st Vice President of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Retiree’s Association for more than 12 years. He was a 30-year veteran of the Patrol, serving 14 years at the Ashland Post.

Partners for Safety Award – Natalie Hasse and the Ohio Insurance Institute

The Partners for Safety initiative successfully blends statewide corporate partnerships with innovative initiatives at the local level. Partners for Safety involves a commitment of operational, public outreach and relations, and educational activities involving the Patrol and community residents. A lasting goal of the Partners for Safety effort is to promote a safer highway environment, reduce traffic crashes, achieve voluntary compliance with motor vehicle traffic laws, positively impact highway crime at the local level and support other Patrol initiatives.

Traffic Safety Health Educator Natalie Haase, Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, was selected as a recipient of the Patrol’s Partners for Safety for her involvement in the Buckle Up, Batter Up event at the Toledo Mud Hens Fifth Third Field. During a pre-game ceremony, the event recognized 20 Saved by the Belt recipients, which emphasized the importance of wearing a safety belt to the thousands of people in attendance at the game. Her partnership was the avenue for many in-game communications which engaged community members in promoting traffic safety. 

While her focus is in Lucas County, her reach goes far beyond the county lines. She is an invaluable partner to the Ohio State Highway Patrol who positively impacts the quality of life and safety of the motoring public.

Ohio Insurance Institute has supported the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Blue Max program since its inception in 1972. The Blue Max program recognizes Ohio state troopers who recover stolen vehicles. During the 52 years of partnership, more than 1,200 troopers have been honored for their commendable efforts in combating auto theft across the state. With the support of the Ohio Insurance Institute, the Blue Max program continues to have a significant impact on vehicle theft in Ohio. Stolen vehicle recoveries associated with this partnership have resulted in millions of dollars of savings in auto theft costs and have led to a safer Ohio.

Auxiliary Awards

The following awards are for the Patrol’s Auxiliary members, an all-volunteer force that provides assistance to troopers.

William J. Duffy Award of Excellence – Auxiliary Staff Major Virginia M. Palmer

The William J. Duffy Award of Excellence requires a minimum of 300 volunteer hours per year over three consecutive years.

Auxiliary Staff Major Virginia M. Palmer joined the Ohio State Highway Patrol Auxiliary in March 2015 and has been assigned to the Delaware Post.

Auxiliary Staff Major Palmer has volunteered more than 2,500 hours throughout her career. She manages all Auxiliary training programs, including new Auxiliary cadets. She was instrumental in revamping and updating the training process for new auxiliaries.

State Auxiliary Officer of the Year – Auxiliary Lieutenant Eric W. Dill

Auxiliary Lieutenant Eric W. Dill joined the Ohio State Highway Patrol Auxiliary in September 2012 and is assigned to the Circleville Post. He was promoted to sergeant in November 2015 and to lieutenant in September 2017.  

In 2022, Auxiliary Lieutenant Dill volunteered 500 hours in 2023, riding all shifts with troopers on regular and holiday patrol. He also organized auxiliaries to assist with traffic for the Circleville Pumpkin show, worked concert details at The Ohio State University and assisted troopers on patrol. In 2019, he received the William J. Duffy Award of Excellence.

Below are District honors for: District Trooper of the Year, District Dispatcher of the Year, District Trooper Recognition and District Employee Recognition. 

Findlay District – Trooper Casimir A. VonSacken, Bowling Green Post; Dispatcher Amy L. De La Pena, Bowling Green Post; Trooper Justin G. Craig, Findlay District Investigations; Robert E. Elling (Maintenance Repair Worker 2), Bowling Green Post.

Bucyrus District – Trooper Jason M. Weaver, Norwalk Post; Dispatcher Carrie L. Wolford, Mansfield Post; Trooper Jacob A. Dickerson, Bucyrus District Criminal Patrol; Elizabeth R. Lawson (Administrative Professional 1), Bucyrus District Headquarters.

Cleveland District – Trooper Evan M. Hill, Canton Post; Dispatcher Elza E. Lloyd, Wooster Post; Trooper Elliot D. Rawson, Cleveland District Headquarters; Lisa M. Price (Administrative Professional 1), Cleveland District Investigations.

Warren District – Trooper Scott Boyle, Warren Post; Dispatcher Kayla A. DeWitt, Ravenna Post; Trooper Mark Harrington, Warren District Criminal Investigations; Michael B. Hitt (Maintenance Repair Worker 2), Canfield Post.

Piqua District – Trooper Eric J. Devers, Piqua Post; Dispatcher Katherine E. Welbaum, Dayton Post; Sergeant Rachel A. Simmons, Piqua District Investigations; Vickie L. Hinderer (Administrative Professional 1), Springfield Post.

Columbus District – Trooper Robert P. Myers, Mt. Gilead Post; Dispatcher Tammy L. Newport, West Jefferson Post; Trooper William C. Duerson, Columbus Post; Heather L. Brooks (Administrative Professional 1), Circleville Post.

Cambridge District – Trooper Brody A. Robinson, Steubenville Post; Dispatcher William L. Courtright, New Philadelphia Post; Trooper Trenas M. Weaver, Cambridge District Investigations; Kathy L. Montgomery (Administrative Professional 1), Cambridge District Commercial Enforcement.

Wilmington District – Trooper David M. Beck, Wilmington Post; Dispatcher Jessi Lovejoy, Lebanon Post; Trooper Christopher M. Krantz, Wilmington District Headquarters; Ricky D. McCloud (Maintenance Repair Worker 2), Lebanon Post.

Jackson District – Trooper Alan J. Beam, Ironton Post; Dispatcher Carrie L. Warren, Athens Post; Trooper Dennis D. Brunton, Jackson District Investigations; Donald R. Lachman (Infrastructure Specialist 2), Jackson District Headquarters.

GHQ – Dispatcher Sharon A. Collins, Statehouse Dispatch; Trooper Paul E. Appleman, Capitol Operations; Trooper Michael J. Vitullo, Office of Field Operations; Trooper Kamal Z. Nelson, Training, Recruitment & Diversity; Daniel P. Maher (Forensic Computer Specialist 1) Computer Crimes Unit; Michael J. Duda (Administrative Professional 1), Aviation Unit; Paul J. Soltesz (Data Analytics Specialist), Statistical Analysis Unit; Samantha K. Farrell (Senior Financial Analyst), Fiscal Services; Police Officer 2 Joshua B. Davis, Office of Criminal Investigations.

Ohio Investigative Unit: Agent Cynthia A. Armsey, Akron District; Agent Michael D. Herman, Athens District; Agent Andrew E. Penvose, Cincinnati District; Agent Willie L. Ford, Cleveland District; Agent Charletta T. Alston, Columbus District; Agent Anasia Greathouse, Toledo District.

Robert Chiaramonte Humanitarian Award recipients: Sergeant David S. Francway, Cleveland District; Sergeant Jeremiah J. Smith, Piqua District; Trooper Adrian E. Wilson, Columbus District; Trooper Donald J. Herink, Cambridge District; Trooper Todd Stevens, Wilmington District; Trooper Colin B. Gilligan, Jackson District.

District and GHQ Rice Leadership recipients: Sergeant Nicholas R. Boes, Findlay District; Sergeant Jeffrey T. Redden, Bucyrus District; Sergeant Christopher S. Ausse, Cleveland District; Sergeant Charles E. Ivory, Warren District; Sergeant Joseph M. Weeks, Piqua District; Sergeant Michael S. Munyon, Columbus District; Sergeant Dustin Payne, Cambridge District; Sergeant Matthew R. Beccaccio, Wilmington District; Sergeant Bobby D. Brown, Jackson District; Sergeant Jerrold T. March, General Headquarters.

District and GHQ Electronic Technician of the Year recipients: ET3 Kraig A. Kent, Findlay District; ET3 Christopher J. Coffman, Cleveland District; ET2 Matthew D. Metzger, Piqua District; ET2 Christopher L. Stroop, Columbus District; ET3 Devan J. Phillis, Cambridge District; ET2 Brian E. Shepherd, Wilmington District; ET3 Steven D. Miller, Jackson District; ET2 Robert E. Schoonover, General Headquarters.

District Motor Carrier Enforcement Inspector of the Year recipients: MCEI Lawrence E. Hampton, Findlay District; MCEI Dustin L. Friesth, Bucyrus District; MCEI Angus P. McCormack, Cleveland District; Trooper Shawn Martin, Warren District; MCEI Stephen B. Garrett, Piqua District; Trooper Anthony A. Matheny, Columbus District; MCEI David L. Snyder, Cambridge District; Trooper Jeremy B. Priest, Wilmington District; MCEI Adam E. Quinn, Jackson District.

District Motor Vehicle Inspector of the Year recipients: MVI Michael R. Rodriguez, Findlay District; MVI Michael J. Fleming, Bucyrus District; MVI Thomas C. Byczek, Cleveland District; MCEI Matthew S, St. Clair, Warren District; MVI Robert W. Baughman, Piqua District; MVI Matthew A. Kelnhofer, Columbus District; MVI Douglas A. Shanks, Cambridge District; MVI Elvin Cordero, Wilmington District; MVI Patrick A. Weaver, Jackson District. 

District Patrol Family Recognition recipients: Kendra M. Slates, Findlay District; Casey Morrison, Warren District; Cadence Cook, Piqua District; Jenn Wilson, Columbus District; Courtney Shirer, Cambridge District; Gwen Stevens, Wilmington District; Danielle L. Gilligan, Jackson District.

District Distinguished Retiree recipients: Retired Sergeant Stephen P. Babich, Findlay District; Retired Sergeant Dale L. LaRue, Cleveland District; Retired Lieutenant Joseph A. Gebhart, Piqua District; Retired Staff Lieutenant Kevin D. Miller, Columbus District; Retired Lieutenant Delmer D. Dunlap, Cambridge District; Retired Captain Delmar L. Everett, Wilmington; Retired Lieutenant Robert J. Woodford, Jackson District.

Superintendent’s Citation of Merit: Trooper Shawn D. Grim, Columbus District; Trooper David R. Handschumacher, Cambridge District.

Publisher's note: A free press is critical to having well-informed voters and citizens. While some news organizations opt for paid websites or costly paywalls, The Highland County Press has maintained a free newspaper and website for the last 25 years for our community. If you would like to contribute to this service, it would be greatly appreciated. Donations may be made to: The Highland County Press, P.O. Box 849, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133. Please include "for website" on the memo line.