For Immediate Release: February 10, 2012
Contact: Lt. Anne Ralston (614) 752-2792
COLUMBUS – The Ohio State Highway Patrol announced the winners of their 2011Leadership Awards today. Top honors include:
- State Trooper of the Year – Tpr. Jermaine D. Thaxton, Granville Post
- Dispatcher of the Year – Disp. Denise S. Blue, Findlay District, Bowling Green Dispatch Center
- Driver License Examiner of the Year – Scott A. Davis, Hilliard Driver Examination Station
- Blue Max Award (top auto larceny enforcer) – Tpr. Robert N. Webb, Portsmouth Post
- Robert M. Chiaramonte Humanitarian Award – Tpr. Matthew W. Davis, Fremont Post
- Motor Carrier Enforcement Inspector of the Year – Douglas K. Vansickle, Findlay District
Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper of the Year – Tpr. Jermaine D. Thaxton, of the Granville Post, was selected from the 10 District Troopers of the Year. This is the second time he has earned this award. Tpr. Thaxton has led the midnight shift in traffic stops for five consecutive years. In 2011, he removed over 300 impaired drivers from Ohio’s roadways. He is an active member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization. He mentors a seven year old boy with disabilities three times a month. He has become a significant role model in the child’s life. Tpr. Thaxton joined the Patrol in September 2002 as a member of the 140th Academy Class. He earned his commission in February the following year and was assigned to the Toledo Post. Tpr. Thaxton resides in Westerville.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Dispatcher of the Year – Disp. Denise S. Blue, of the Bowling Green Dispatch Center, was selected as Dispatcher of the Year. Disp. Blue joined the Patrol in May 2006. She resides in Findlay.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Driver License Examiner of the Year – Scott A. Davis, of the Hilliard Driver Examination Station was selected from the 10 District Driver License Examiners of the Year. He joined the Patrol in April 2007. DX Davis resides in Galloway.
Blue Max Award (Patrol’s top auto larceny enforcer) – Tpr. Robert N. Webb, of the Portsmouth Post, was honored with a Blue Max Award for recovering the most stolen vehicles. In 2011, he recovered 11 stolen vehicles, valued at $33,675, resulting in the apprehension of 11 suspects. Tpr. Webb joined the Patrol in May 2007 as a member of the 148th Academy class. He earned his commission in March 2008 and was assigned to the Chillicothe Post. Tpr. Webb resides in Lucasville.
Robert M. Chiaramonte Humanitarian Award – Tpr. Matthew W. Davis, of the Fremont Post, was honored with the Robert M. Chiaramonte Humanitarian Award, which recognizes officers who are dedicated to humanitarian causes, both on the highway and in their communities. Assistance to motorists, letters of commendation and community involvement are all factors in determining the recipient. In addition to his excellent work for the Fremont Post, Tpr. Davis made it his personal mission to positively impact the lives of disadvantaged people in his community.
In 2011, Tpr. Davis organized a 5K race to raise money and awareness for the local food pantry. An avid runner, he found sponsors, promoted the race and recruited runners to help fight hunger. He is a frequent volunteer at the food pantry and also serves with a local group called the Citizens Circle whose members visit county jails to help violators prepare to return to their communities. He also helped to establish the Royal Rangers Program through his church to provide boys in his community an opportunity to learn about the outdoors and engage in charitable projects. Tpr. Davis joined the Patrol in October 2001 as a member of the 138th Academy Class. He earned his commission in April the following year and was assigned to the Swanton Post. In June 2003, he transferred to his current assignment at the Fremont Post. Tpr. Davis resides in Bettsville with his wife, Michelle. They have two children: Alexis and Kenan.
Motor Carrier Enforcement Inspector of the Year – Motor Carrier Enforcement Inspector Douglas K. Vansickle, of the Findlay District, received the Motor Carrier Enforcement Inspector of the Year award. Vansickle began his career with the Patrol in April 1996 as a Maintenance Repair Worker 2. He was promoted to a Motor Carrier Enforcement Inspector in April 1998. He resides in Martin with his wife, Claudia.
Criminal Patrol Award – Tpr. Kurt D. Beidelschies, of the Findlay Post, was awarded for having the most investigations of felony cases that led to felony arrests. In 2011, he had 67 felony cases and 86 felony arrests. Most of his cases were drug-related, including significant prescription pill seizures. Tpr. Beidelschies joined the Patrol in March 2006 as a member of the 146th Academy Class. He earned his commission in October of that year and was assigned to the Findlay Post. Tpr. Beidelschies resides in Upper Sandusky.
Electronic Technicians Team Award – Presented yearly to the top electronic technician team in the state. This year’s winners are from the Cambridge District:
- Electronic Technician 3 Jeffrey A. Burris – Nearly a 12-year veteran, he resides in Cambridge with his wife, Susan. They have three children: Katie, Doug and Kristen.
- Electronic Technician 2 Michael C. Cover – Nearly a 12-year veteran, he resides in Zanesville with his wife, Delma. They have two daughters: Kelly and Josie.
- Electronic Technician 2 James K. Howell – Nearly a 5-year veteran, he resides in Cadiz.
Ohio Trooper Recognition Award – Tpr. Stacey L. Arnold, of the Northwest Regional Criminal Patrol Unit, was selected from 11 regional recipients. The Trooper Recognition Award recognizes excellence among troopers who are assigned to specialty positions. Tpr. Arnold joined the Patrol in February 1994 as a member of the 126th Academy Class. She earned her commission in July of that year and has served at the Findlay Post, Toledo Post and the Criminal Patrol Unit throughout her career. She resides in Holland.
Employee Recognition Award – A 21-year veteran, Essie M. Winfrey, an Administrative Professional 4 in the Office of Strategic Services, received the award presented annually to recognize excellence by a civilian employee. Winfrey resides in Columbus with her husband, Alonzo. They have two sons: Michael and Christopher.
Note to Editors: Below are District honors for: District Trooper of the Year, District Dispatcher of the Year, District Trooper Recognition, District Employee Recognition, and District Driver License Examiner of the Year. For photographs of award winners, e-mail wwwOHP@dps.state.oh.us with requests.
Findlay District – Tpr Shawn D. Cook, Van Wert Post; Disp. Denise S. Blue, Findlay Dispatch Center; Tpr. Stacey L. Arnold, Northwest Regional Criminal Patrol Unit; Thomas R. Winter (Maintenance Repair Worker 2), Lima Post; and Daniel P. Arend (Driver License Examiner 1), Toledo Driver Examination Station.
Bucyrus District – Tpr. Timmothy J. Hoffman, Norwalk Post; Disp. Heidi J. Maloy, Sandusky Dispatch Center; Tpr. Ryan S. Wilson, Bucyrus District Investigations; Brian J. Bender (Maintenance Repair Worker 2), Marion Post; and Martha E. Lewis (Driver License Examiner 1), Fremont Driver Examination Station.
Massillon District – Tpr. Andrew T. Topp, Ashland Post; Disp. Emily D. Gerhart, Wooster Dispatch Center; Tpr. Rayetta J. Kanters, Massillon District Investigations; Patricia A. McLean, (Administrative Professional 1), Canton Post; Brenda L. Ruhlin (Driver License Examiner 1), Cuyahoga Falls Driver Examination Station; and Arthur G. Fertig (Driver License Examiner 1), Garfield Heights Driver Examination Station.
Warren District – Tpr. Jonathan A. Ganley, Ravenna Post; Disp. Tamara A. Scheetz, Lisbon Dispatch Center; Tpr. Michael D. Russell, Warren District Investigations; Charlene Ulrich (Administrative Professional 1), Warren District Headquarters; and Nicole Brown (Driver License Examiner 1), Canfield Driver Examination Station.
Piqua District – Tpr. Matthew P. Robinson, Dayton Post; Disp. Thomas E. Huff, Piqua Dispatch Center; No Trooper Recognition Award; Jody A. Henault (Maintenance Repair Worker 2), Marysville Post; and Anna M. Jones (Driver License Examiner 1), Piqua Driver Examination Station.
Columbus District – Tpr. Jermaine D. Thaxton, Granville Post; Disp. Ernest M. King, Lancaster Dispatch Center; Tpr. Travis H. Woodyard, Central Regional Criminal Patrol Unit; Tracy J. Miller (Administrative Professional 1), Mt. Gilead Post; and Scott A. Davis (Driver License Examiner 1), Hilliard Driver Examination Station.
Cambridge District – Tpr. Joseph M. Parsons, Steubenville Post; Disp. David M. Spratt, Cambridge Dispatch Center; Tpr. Mark W. Stelzer, Cambridge District Investigations; Jessica L. Tysinger (Administrative Professional 1), Zanesville Post; and Susan A. Hollins (Driver License Examiner 1), Cambridge Driver Examination Station.
Wilmington District – Tpr. Nathan J. Pabin, Batavia Post; Disp. Neil E. Yockey, Batavia Dispatch Center; Tpr. Daniel R. Brown (Motor Vehicle Inspector), Cincinnati Operations; Jack Coates III (Maintenance Repair Worker 2), Wilmington Post; and Denise R. Mulvaney (Driver License Examiner 1), Xenia Driver Examination Station.
Jackson District – Tpr. Paul T. Mercer, Jackson Post; Disp. Jason L. Saunders, Jackson Dispatch Center; Tpr. Nicholas S. Johnson II, Southeast Regional Criminal Patrol Unit; Rodney A. Parker (Portable Load Limit Inspector), Jackson District Headquarters; and Shawn R. Kiefer (Driver License Examiner 1), Jackson Driver Examination Station.
Berea District – Tpr. Eric M. Stroud, Swanton Post; Disp. Anne B. LaRue, Berea Dispatch Center;
GHQ – Dispatcher of the Year: Disp. Ian M. Miller, Columbus Communications Center; Trooper Recognition: Tpr. Douglas D. Elliott, Office of Special Operations; Employee Recognition Award; Sherri A. Allen (Publications Specialist 2), Office of Field Operations; Essie M. Winfrey (Administrative Professional 4), Office of Strategic Services; and Ebenezer Lartey (Custodial Worker), Training Academy.
The following awards are for the Patrol’s Auxiliary members who are an all-volunteer force that provides assistance to troopers.
William J. Duffy Award of Excellence - Thomas G. Dittoe
This award requires a minimum of 300 volunteer hours per year over three consecutive years.
Thomas G. Dittoe, joined the Ohio State Highway Patrol Auxiliary in 2008, and is assigned to the Lancaster Post. During the last three years, he has averaged over 500 hours per year of volunteer time. This time included riding on patrol, assisting at sobriety checkpoints and special details.
In addition to volunteering with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Aux. Officer Dittoe is a Captain with Somerset-Reading Township serving both the fire and EMS departments. His full-time job is as an outside sales manager with Snider-Flautt Lumber Incorporated in New Lexington and Zanesville
State Auxiliary Officer of the Year- Anthony M. Chamberlain
Anthony M. Chamberlain started with the Ohio State Highway Patrol Auxiliary in March 2009, and is assigned to the Delaware Post. In 2011, Aux. Officer Chamberlain volunteered 1,341 hours of time in assisting with Patrol duties. This time included riding on patrol, assisting at the Ohio State Fair, Ohio State University football games, The American Legion Memorial Day National Cemetery detail and working at the Academy store.
Aux. Officer Chamberlain is also a volunteer with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization. He is also active in his church where he is a member of the Knights of Columbus.
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