Washington County Sheriff's pays respect to past, awards present officers

MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - Washington County Sheriff's Office continued its Police Week celebrations by honoring its past and present.

Over a dozen law enforcement officers and community members gathered to remember past sheriffs at Oak Grove cemetery Wednesday morning.

Marking National Peace Officers Day, the sheriffs office paid respect to its past, placing flowers and flags on the graves of seven former sheriffs.

“Just to be able to walk through and see where the men that walked in front of us," Sheriff Larry Mincks said, "and protected the community, their final resting place.”

But they also honored the present with the annual employee awards luncheon.

“Often the work that these men and women do go unnoticed, you know," Chief Deputy Mark Warden said, "and it’s our privilege that this time of year during this week to recognize those individuals.”

Deputy Alyssa McConnell received deputy of the year for a job that she says she loves.

"It means everything to make sure I'm going home at the end of the day and everybody that I work with is going home safe at the end of the day," she said, "and just being safe and protecting our community."

Detective Bryan Lockhart and two other officers received excellence awards for a New Matamoras home invasion case in which a man sustained serious injuries, including a fractured skull. The officers work led to the arrest and conviction of some of those responsible. Two of the six suspects involved in the case will stand trial later this year.

"It's special to receive that award," Lockhart said, "but all the men and women that do this job know that they're going to be called upon to do investigations like this from time to time and we're just happy to go out and serve the public and do a good job for them."

The luncheon also honored others such as corrections, dispatcher of the year, civilians and even the retirement of K-9 Votan.

Here is a list of all of the winners:

Sheriff's Award for Excellence: Det. Sgt. Scott Smeeks, Det. Sgt. Spencer McPeek and Det. Lt. T.B. Lockhart
"in recognition of your dedicated services during a home invasion and aggravated assault and investigation of William McFall on November 27, 2018 which resulted in a successful prosecution and conviction of the responsible individuals."

Certificate of Merit: Lt. Kevin Hornbeck
"In recognition of your dedicated commitment to professionalism in Law Enforcement and your valiant effort to save the life of Andy Barringer on this date, Nov. 25, 2018

2018 Security and Transportation Officer of the Year: Deputy Sheriff Todd Moyers
"In recognition of your dedicated commitment to professionalism in Law Enforcement."

2018 Deputy of the Year: Alyssa McConnell
"In recognition of your dedicated commitment to professionalism in Law Enforcement."

2018 Corrections Officer of the Year: Lt. Marvin Smith
"In recognition of your dedicated commitment to professionalism in Law Enforcement."

Sheriff's Award for Valor: Deputy Sheriff Loretta K. Parks
"In recognition of your dedicated commitment to professionalism in Law Enforcement on November 25, 2018 during the execution of an arrest warrant of Andrew McCarty in which you suffered a very serious injury."

Citizen's Award for Valor: Janet Culjak, R.N.
"In recognition of your successful performance of CPR on August 13, 2018, saving the life of a two-month-old infant girl who had been the victim of felonious assault and child endangerment by her father

2018 Dispatcher of the Year: Sgt. Jennifer Erb
In recognition of your dedicated commitment to professionalism in Dispatch."

Lifesaving Award: Deputy Sheriff Douglas Aultman, R.N.
Outstanding performance, in the saving of a human life, and the display of conspicuous initiative, capability and attention to duty, thereby earning respect and admiration for yourself and the Washington County Sheriff's Office on 18 August 2018 at the Washington County Jail.

Lifesaving Award: Sgt. Alicia Strahler
"Outstanding performance, in the saving of a human life, and the display of conspicuous initiative, capability and attention to duty, thereby earning respect and admiration for yourself and the Washington County Sheriff's Office on 11 January 2018 at the Washington County Jail.

Patrol Service Dog: Votan
For dedicated service to the Washington County Sheriff's Office and the citizens of Washington County, Ohio, on your retirement, April 30, 2019

Letter of Commendation: Corrections Officer D.M. Timberman
"Commitment to excellence in the performance of your duties on 4 April 2019