For Immediate Release: February 10, 2017
Contact: Lieutenant Robert Sellers or Sergeant Tiffiany Coriell (614) 752-2792
Patrol Announces 2016 Leadership Awards
COLUMBUS – The Ohio State Highway Patrol announced the winners of their 2016 Leadership Awards today. The ceremony recognizes dozens of state and district award winners for contributions to the division and the state of Ohio.
Top honors include:
Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper of the Year – Tpr. Juan “Ray” Santiago
Tpr. Juan “Ray” Santiago, of the Elyria Post, was selected as Trooper of the Year from nine District Troopers of the Year across the state. Tpr. Santiago is highly respected by his peers and supervisors. He strives to build a cohesive team at the Elyria Post and leads by example as a field training officer.
Tpr. Santiago has taken pride in the role of a trooper on and off duty to enrich his community. He is active in a non-profit organization, Operation Open Heart, which was started in 1962 by former trooper David Harper. It facilitates support and mentorship of boys receiving services through Lorain County Children Services, ages 6-17, by law enforcement and public safety services. Tpr. Santiago is also active in his church and participates with the Boys and Girls Club of Lorain County.
Tpr. Santiago joined the Patrol in October 2010 as a member of the 150th Academy Class. He earned his commission in April of the following year and was assigned to the Ashland Post. In 2013, he transferred to the Elyria Post. He earned the Criminal Patrol Award in 2013, 2014 and 2016. Tpr. Santiago received his Drug Recognition Expert Certification in March 2016. He was selected as the Elyria Post Trooper of the Year in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Tpr. Santiago was also selected as District Trooper of the Year and earned the Chiaramonte Humanitarian Award in 2014.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Dispatcher of the Year – Dispatcher Sarah Lynn Beam
Dispatcher Sarah Lynn Beam, of the Bowling Green Dispatch Center, was selected as Dispatcher of the Year from nine District Dispatchers of the Year across the state.
Dispatcher Beam joined the Patrol in April 2012 as a dispatcher assigned to the Findlay Dispatch Center. In 2013, she transferred to the Bowling Green Dispatch Center. In 2014, she transferred to the Findlay District Headquarters. In 2015, she returned to the Bowling Green Dispatch Center.
Blue Max Award (Patrol’s top auto larceny enforcer) – Tpr. James W. Bryner
Tpr. James W. Bryner, of the West Jefferson Post, was honored with the Blue Max Award for recovering the most stolen vehicles of any trooper in 2016. Throughout the year, he recovered 26 stolen vehicles, valued at $196,300, resulting in the apprehension of 20 suspects.
Tpr. Bryner joined the Patrol in May 2009 as a member of the 149th Academy Class. He earned his commission in December of that year and was assigned to the Marysville Post. In 2013, he transferred to the West Jefferson Post, and in 2015 he was selected as Post Trooper of Year. In 2016, he earned the Criminal Patrol Award and the Ace Award for excellence in auto larceny enforcement.
State Criminal Patrol Award – Tpr. Drew W. Kuehne
Tpr. Drew W. Kuehne, of the Jackson District, was awarded for having the most felony case investigations that led to felony arrests. In 2016, he had 63 felony cases and 83 felony arrests. The majority of his cases were drug or weapon related. His seizures this year include, but aren’t limited to, 4 pounds of cocaine, 1 ½ pounds of heroin and more than 2,000 prescription pills.
Tpr. Kuehne joined the Patrol in November 2012 as a member of the 154th Academy Class. He earned his commission in April 2013 and was assigned to the Portsmouth Post. He transferred to the Jackson District Criminal Patrol Unit. Tpr. Kuehne earned the Criminal Patrol Award in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Robert M. Chiaramonte Humanitarian Award – Sgt. David L. Robison
Sgt. David L. Robison, Piqua Post, was honored with the Robert M. Chiaramonte Humanitarian Award, which recognizes officers who are dedicated to humanitarian causes on the highway and in their communities. Assisting motorists, letters of commendation and community involvement are all factors in determining the recipient.
Sgt. Robison spent countless hours developing presentations to use at the Miami and Darke Counties 4-H CARTEENS programs. He also presented the program to the Juvenile Court and the Sidney Police Department to implement a CARTEENS program in Shelby County for the very first time. Sgt. Robison is very involved with Safe Communities and was instrumental in establishing the program to pave the way with traffic educational programs.
Sgt. Robison joined the Patrol in May 1993 as a member of the 125th Academy Class. He earned his commission in November of that year and was assigned to the Ashtabula Post, where he was selected as Post Trooper of the Year in 1998. In 2008, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and transferred to the Dayton Post to serve as an assistant post commander. In 2014, he transferred to his most recent assignment at the Piqua Post.
Colonel Thomas W. Rice Leadership Award – Sgt. Dustin D. Neely
Sgt. Dustin D. Neely, of the Office of Criminal Investigations, 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.
Sgt. Neely is respected as an excellent investigator and a leader among his peers. He has excelled in all areas of management by setting high standards and working to improve those under his supervision. He takes additional time to teach his subordinates in an effort to develop their skills. He fosters a team-oriented environment and leads by example, ensuring the work product produced is top quality.
Sgt. Neely began his Patrol career in April 2002 as a member of the 139th Academy Class. He earned his commission in October of that year and was assigned to the Mt. Gilead Post. In 2003, he transferred to the Granville Post. In 2009, he transferred to Capital Operations. In 2012, he transferred to the Office of Criminal Investigations. In 2015, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and remained in the Office of Criminal Investigations.
Sgt. Neely earned an Associate of Arts degree in sociology in 2001 and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology in 2012 from The Ohio State University.
Motor Carrier Enforcement Inspector of the Year – Motor Carrier Enforcement Inspector John T. Rammel
Motor Carrier Enforcement Inspector John T. Rammel, of the Piqua District Commercial Enforcement Unit, was selected as Motor Carrier Enforcement Inspector of the Year.
MCEI Rammel began his career with the Patrol in September 1993 as a dispatcher assigned to the Wapakoneta Post. In 1995, he was promoted and remained at the Wapakoneta Post. In 2002, he was promoted to motor carrier enforcement inspector and transferred to his most recent assignment at the Piqua District Commercial Enforcement Unit.
Electronic Technician Award – Electronic Technician 1 Chad M. Morrison
Electronic Technician 1 Chad M. Morrison, Office of Strategic Services, was selected as Electronic Technician of the Year. An Electronic Technician 1 supports the division by testing, maintaining, aligning, and programming many types of communications equipment. They also assist with equipment, such as radars and Tasers, and are primarily responsible for the installation of OSHP equipment in marked vehicles.
ET Morrison joined the Patrol in November 2006 as a laborer assigned to Facilities Management. In 2007, he was promoted to a maintenance repair worker 2 and transferred to the Alum Creek Facilities. In 2010, he was promoted to an electronic technician 1 and transferred to his most recent assignment in the Office of Strategic Services.
Ohio Trooper Recognition Award – Tpr. Timothy B. Williamson
Tpr. Timothy B. Williamson, Columbus District Criminal Patrol, was selected for the Ohio Trooper Recognition Award from nine regional recipients across the state. The award recognizes excellence among troopers who are assigned to specialty positions.
He joined the Patrol in September 2011 as a member of the 151st Academy Class. He earned his commission in February of the following year and was assigned to the Mt. Gilead Post. In 2014, he transferred to his most recent assignment at the Columbus District Criminal Patrol Unit.
Tpr. Williamson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in homeland security terrorism from Tiffin University in 2008.
Employee Recognition Award – Public Safety Intelligence Analyst Christopher J. Sands
Public Safety Intelligence Analyst Christopher J. Sands, Intelligence Unit, received the award presented annually to recognize excellence by a civilian employee.
Analyst Sands began his state career in April 2014 as a public safety intelligence analyst and has been assigned to the Intelligence Unit throughout his career.
He earned a Master of Public Administration degree in public administration from The Ohio State University in 2014.
Ohio Investigative Unit State Agent of the Year – Andrew J. Bouza
Andrew J. Bouza, Toledo District Office, was selected as State Agent of the Year out of six District Agents of the Year across the state. Agent Bouza joined the Ohio Investigative Unit in July 2010 and has been assigned to the Toledo District Office throughout his career.
Agent Bouza served in the US Army from 2000 to 2008.
Police Officer of the Year – Police Officer 2 Mark Stahovec
Police Officer 2 Mark Stahovec, Capitol Operations, was selected as Police Officer of the Year. Officer Stahovec joined the Patrol in August 2012 and is assigned to Capitol Operations.
Family Member Recognition Award – Chandra M. Brode, Warren District
Distinguished Retiree Award – Retired Tpr. AJ Torres, Cleveland District
Note to Editors: Below are District honors for: District Trooper of the Year, District Dispatcher of the Year, District Trooper Recognition and District Employee Recognition. For photographs of award winners, email wwwOHP@dps.ohio.gov with requests.
Findlay District – Tpr. Casimir VonSacken, Bowling Green Post; Dispatcher Sarah L. Beam, Bowling Green Dispatch Center; Tpr. Ryan Stewart, Findlay Criminal Patrol; Beth Bullinger (Administrative Professional 1), Van Wert Post.
Bucyrus District – Tpr. Garrett R. Lawson, Fremont Post; Dispatcher Jacquelyn S. Martin, Mansfield Dispatch Center; Tpr. Bryan Holden, Bucyrus Criminal Patrol; Christine Gibbons (Administrative Professional 4), Bucyrus District Headquarters.
Cleveland District – Tpr. Juan R. Santiago, Elyria Post; Dispatcher Jessica N. Coleman, Cleveland Dispatch Center; Tpr. Joseph Costarella, Cleveland District Investigations; Linda Barnes (Administrative Professional 1), Cleveland Commercial Enforcement Unit.
Warren District – Tpr. Matthew R. Abbey, Warren Post; Dispatcher Tamara A. Scheetz, Canfield Dispatch Center; Tpr. Larry Skaggs, Warren District Investigations; Julie Szeker (Administrative Professional 1), Chardon Post.
Piqua District – Tpr. Jason R. Hutchison, Dayton Post; Dispatcher Ashley A. Thomas, Piqua Dispatch Center; Tpr. Jason Barhorst, Piqua Criminal Patrol; Shannon Tackett (Administrative Professional 1), Xenia Post.
Columbus District – Tpr. Jacob D. Landis, Circleville Post; Dispatcher Jeramey C. Knowlton, Lancaster Dispatch Center; Tpr. Timothy Williamson, Columbus Criminal Patrol; Teresa Elswick (Administrative Professional 1), Circleville Post.
Cambridge District – Tpr. Seth T. Jones, Marietta Post; Dispatcher William L. Courtright, New Philadelphia Dispatch Center; Tpr. Scott Bayless, Cambridge Criminal Patrol; Joseph Simonson (Maintenance Repair Worker 2), Cambridge Post.
Wilmington District – Tpr. Brett M. Lee, Lebanon Post; Dispatcher Deborah K. Griffith, Wilmington Dispatch Center; Tpr. Jennifer J. Soderquist, Wilmington District Headquarters; Bruce Fassig (Maintenance Repair Worker 2), Wilmington Post.
Jackson District – Tpr. Steven M. Dunn, Jackson Post; Dispatcher Drew E. Fry, Portsmouth Dispatch Center; Tpr. Randy Boggs, Jackson Commercial Enforcement Unit; Eva Johnson (Administrative Professional 1), Gallipolis Post.
GHQ – Dispatcher of the Year: Dispatcher Tammy L. Newport, Columbus Communications Center; District Trooper Recognition: Tpr. James Boysel, Office of Criminal Investigations; Christopher Sands (Public Safety Intelligence Analyst), Intelligence Unit; Todd Osborn (Security Officer 1), 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 – David F. Pillion
The William J. Duffy Award of Excellence requires a minimum of 300 volunteer hours per year over three consecutive years.
Auxiliary Staff Lieutenant David F. Pillion joined the Ohio State Highway Patrol Auxiliary in 1993 and is assigned to the Delaware Post. While at the Delaware Post, he was promoted to the rank of Auxiliary lieutenant in 2004. In 2015, he was promoted to the rank of Auxiliary staff lieutenant. Over the last three years, he has volunteered an average of 300 hours per year which includes riding on patrol, assisting at the Ohio State Fair, Ohio State University football game details, sobriety checkpoints, Shield Details and working at the Academy store. Aux. S/Lt. Pillion earned Auxiliary Officer of the Year in 2015.
Aux. S/Lt. Pillion retired from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office as an investigator in 2013.
State Auxiliary Officer of the Year – Louis J. Lust
Auxiliary Major Lois J. Lust joined the Patrol Auxiliary in April 1995 and was assigned to the Marion Post as an Auxiliary officer. While at the Marion Post, she was promoted to the rank of Auxiliary captain in 1998, and Auxiliary major in 2013.
In 2016, Aux. Maj. Lust volunteered 947 hours of time in assistance with Patrol duties. This time included riding on patrol, assisting at the Ohio State Fair, Ohio State University football game details, sobriety checkpoints, Shield Details and working at the Academy store. Aux. Maj. Lust is the first woman to earn State Auxiliary Officer of the Year.
Aux. Maj. Lust retired from teaching after 37 years with the Marion City Schools.
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