Thursday, September 23, 2004

MADD honors 'Top Cops' tonight



By David Eck
Enquirer contributor

LOVELAND - Twenty Greater Cincinnati police officers will receive "Top Cop" awards tonight from the Southwestern Ohio chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

MADD HONORS OFFICERS
Lt. Michael Black - Ohio State Highway Patrol
Trooper Thomas M. Bloomberg - Ohio State Highway Patrol, Wilmington post
Patrolman Ron Cravens - Wilmington Police Department
Officer Jayson Farrell - Amelia Police Department
Patrolman Stephen Figliola and Patrolman David Hatfield - Franklin Police Department
Trooper Matthew J. Hamilton and Trooper Brian Welling - Ohio State Highway Patrol, Batavia post
Lt. Randy Harvey and Deputy Geoffrey P. Hultgren - Clermont County Sheriff's Office
Officer Robert Heideman - Miami Township Police Department
Lt. William Peck and Trooper Darren Weathington - Ohio State Highway Patrol - Dayton post
Lt. Mark Preuss - Sharonville Police Department
Officer Stephen Roach - Evendale Police Department
Cpl. Jeffrey Sabers - Hamilton County Sheriff's Office
Sgt. Benjamin Spilman - Miami University Police Department
Trooper Jeffrey E. Staples - Ohio State Highway Patrol, Lebanon post
Officer James Taylor - Goshen Township Police Department
Trooper Nathan A. Ward - Ohio State Highway Patrol, Hamilton post
The annual awards recognize officers who have worked to stop drunk driving or worked on special programs in their communities.

"We look for officers who are not only doing their jobs but also working within in their community," said Andrea Rehkamp, executive director of the group.

For example, Miami University Police Sgt. Benjamin Spilman, was chosen for his work in developing a computer program that tracks drunk-driving crashes and arrests of drunk drivers in Butler County.

"You can visually see in a graphic manner where arrests and crashes happen, Spilman said. "It pulls it together in one place so we can see countywide where the problems are. It makes it very easy to pinpoint hot spots."

Other officers, such as Stephen Roach of Evendale, will be recognized for their efforts on drunk driving enforcement, Rehkamp said.

In Evendale, Roach made nearly 70 percent of that police department's drunk-driving arrests last year, officials said.

"He's just one of those guys that likes traffic enforcement and is very good at what he does," Evendale Chief Gary Foust said.

When-drunk driving laws changed in Ohio this year, Roach sponsored a session to update other members of the department.

Roach is the former Cincinnati officer whose shooting of a fleeing black suspect in 2001 sparked riots.

His 2002 hiring in Evendale touched off protests in the Hamilton County village, but by 2003 he was named Officer of the Year by the Evendale Chamber of Commerce.

MADD received about 30 nominees for the awards. The chapter includes Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, Montgomery and Warren counties.

E-mail deck@fuse.net




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