BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — Members of the Maumee Police Division were honored during the annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Banquet on May 2.
Sgt. Andrew King, the review board chairman, kicked off the event, congratulating the award recipients and thanking city officials, courthouse staff members, the community and more for their support of the department.
Chief Josh Sprow thanked the review board and recognized the positive efforts of the police officers in the community before King began introducing each honoree for the evening.
The high honor of the night went to Ptl. Austin McDermott. He was named Officer of the Year for 2022.
“One thing about Austin, if you don’t know already, is he’s a very passionate person,” King said. “Everything he does is full of passion and it’s awesome.”
Sgt. Andrew Pollauf said in his nomination that King has proven himself to be a very active officer.
“He’s self-motivated and challenges himself to be the most effective police officer he can be,” Pollauf’s nomination letter stated. “His image and professional demeanor as a representative of the city of Maumee is to be admired. He always treats citizens and suspects with the respect and dignity they deserve.”
There were many people McDermott thanked in his acceptance speech, including the city of Maumee for making sure the department has the resources it needs and the leaders of the department for always vouching for the officers.
“I think the biggest thing you can have in a job is coworkers that trust you and to know pretty much no matter what situation you’re in, you’ll be able to get through whatever it may be together,” McDermott said. “It doesn’t matter what the call is, you’ve got somebody there to help you.”
McDermott’s family was also a big part of his speech, including his parents, Mike and Jennifer.
“You’ve both taught me family values, work ethic and to always do the right thing,” McDermott said to his parents.
He thanked his mother-and father-in-law for accepting him into the family before thanking his wife, Peyton, for her unconditional support and for making him the best person he can be.
“I want to thank my grandfather, who can’t be here tonight,” McDermott added. “He was a police officer for the Lima Police Department before he retired. He was like a second dad to me and he was a big inspiration.”
McDermott said the award is a great honor and he will continue to better himself and live up to the standard set by others in his life.
In addition to McDermott’s award, several other individuals were recognized for efforts within the community.
The Life Saving Award was presented to officers Derek Sanderson, Sam Rudolph and Jerry Robin-son and Sgt. Andrew Dean for performing CPR on unconscious individuals and providing them with a fighting chance to live.
To the crossing guards, King said the community appreciates the often thankless job they do in the community, keeping schoolchildren safe in the mornings and afternoons.
Two community members were recognized with Citizen Awards.
On September 21, Kayla Kutsko and Douglas Haack were both at Cracker Barrel in Maumee, where they performed CPR on an unconscious patient, assisting first responders until the person was transported to the hospital.
According to the nomination form, King said the patient would not have survived without the lifesaving efforts of Kutsko and Haack.
At the dinner, Maumee Mayor Rich Carr also addressed the crowd and congratulated each recipient. In his last address at a Maumee police banquet, Carr outlined the different activities he has participated in with the Maumee Police Division and thanked the people he has worked with to keep the city the best it can be.
“It has been a privilege to work with each of you. Thank you for your commitment to excellence and everything you do for the city of Maumee,” Carr told the attendees.
The following awards were presented during the event:
Officer of the Year: Ptl. Austin McDermott.
Distinguished Service Award: Ptl. Austin McDermott, Ptl. Christ-opher Barrow, Ptl. Jerry Robinson and Ptl. Cody Corado.
Life Saving Award: Ptl. Derek Sanderson, Ptl. Sam Rudolph, Sgt. Andrew Dean and Ptl. Jerry Robinson.
Thirty-Year Honorable Service Award: Ptl. Timothy Roberts.
Twenty-Year Honorable Service Award: Chief Josh Sprow, Sgt. Paul LaPlante, Ptl. Scott Russell and administrative assistant Amy Clocksin.
Fifteen-Year Honorable Service Award: Assistant Chief Mike Love and Ptl. Jacob Beck.
Twenty-Year Safe Driving Award: Sgt. Paul LaPlante and Ptl. Scott Russell.
Fifteen-Year Safe Driving Award: Assistant Chief Mike Love and Ptl. Jacob Beck.
Five-Year Safe Driving Award: Ptl. Cody Corado and Ptl. Bryan Fritz.
Three-Year Safe Driving Award: Ptl. Christopher Barrow and Ptl. Austin McDermott.
Crossing Guard Honorable Service: Joe Huber (five years) and Diane Huber (five years).
Citizen Award: Kayla Kutsko and Douglas Haack.