Law enforcement officers were recognized during the 26th Annual Police Appreciation banquet Thursday, May 28.
The Clermont County Chamber of Commerce and Clermont County Citizens Law Enforcement Association presented awards to some of the areas finest officers during the event held at the Eastgate Holiday Inn.
The Clermont County Sheriff’s and Union Township Honor Guards shared in the opening presentation of the colors to begin the event. Rich Jaffe, reporter for WKRC-TV, served as presenter for the awards.
A video clip of each recipient was shown before the awards were presented and award winners were given an opportunity to express their gratitude.
Several Pierce Township officers were among the award recipients, including the small department Officer of the Year, Officer Laetita Schuler; small department Criminal Investigator of the Year, Detective Michael Buckler, and retired officer Lt. Marvin Saylor.
Pierce Township Police Chief James Smith presented the award to Detective Buckler and noted that Buckler showed diligence and determination as he sought to identify a suspect in a rash of armed robberies. His determination led to the eventual arrest and a guilty plea in the case.
Three Miami Township officers were also awarded for their service. The large department Officer of the Year was awarded to Officer Rob Hirsch and both Detective Rob Bradford and Officer Terry Davis received certificates.
Union Township Detective Todd Taylor and Investigator Greg Moran, of the Clermont County Sheriff's Office each received a large department Criminal Investigator of the Year Award.
As Taylor was recognized for his role as criminal investigator, Matt Van Sant, of the Clermont Chamber of Commerce, remarked that Taylor was responsible for solving three major robberies within Union Township.
Sheriff A.J. Rodenberg noted that investigator Greg Moran worked closely with other agencies to solve robberies in Union Township and Batavia Township. His ability to gather information and network with other agencies has resulted in solving numerous crimes in the area.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Nathan Pabin, of the Batavia Post, was named the Traffic Officer of the Year. A certificate was presented to Bethel Police Officer Shane Bininger, and Gene Bishop was given the Citizen Award for his work as a volunteer.
In addition, two deceased officers were recognized during the event. Renelda Sturgill, wife of the late Chief Paul Sturgill, of the Owensville Police Department accepted the award on his behalf and Clermont County Sheriff A.J. Rodenberg announced the award for the late Corporal Jeff Gobbi, of the sheriff's office.
Ed Bridgeman, head of the criminal justice program at Clermont College announced James Stokes as the 2009 $1,500 CCLEA Scholarship recipient.
"We are very proud of the criminal justice program. We couldn't do this program without the support of the local law enforcement officials and the police chiefs association," said Bridgeman. "They have helped with the recruitment program. Stokes has served as an auxiliary officer in the Brown County Sheriff's Office and we are very happy to present this scholarship to him."
The selection committee was made up of members of law enforcement, prosecutors, business leaders and educators.