Derek Sanderson Named Police Division Officer Of The Year

Several Maumee Police Division members received Honorable Service Awards, including (from left) Capt. Johnathan Warden, Sgt. Andrew Pollauf, officer Austin McDermott, officer Jerry Robinson, Sgt. Andrew King, officer Gregory Kuhlman, officer Brian Walczak, officer Derek Sanderson, officer Travis Brewer, officer Bryan Fritz and officer William Pollock. Not pictured are officers Christopher Rutledge, Cody Corado and Brian Hill. MIRROR PHOTO BY KRISTI FISH

BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — The Maumee Police Division honored members of the department during the annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Banquet on March 8.

Sgt. Christopher Barrow kicked off the night’s events, welcoming attendees and congratulating the many award winners.

Chief Josh Sprow thanked members of the department and their families, along with city officials for taking time out of their schedules to share the evening together.

“It is important that we get together at events like this to see our loved ones and share that time,” Sprow said.

At the end of the presentation of the various awards, the highest honor of the night was given to Ptl. Derek Sanderson.

Sanderson, Barrow said, was his field training officer and taught him a significant amount about the field.

“I was blown away with the knowledge and the care that he has for his job,” Barrow added.

In the nomination from Sgt. Paul LaPlante, he said Sanderson is an excellent mentor and role model to officers within the division.

“Derek is the definition of a professional police officer and someone who can be trusted to handle any type of call that he encounters,” LaPlante’s nomination said. “Derek always gives his calls and the public his full attention and presents a positive image of the Maumee Police Division.”

LaPlante said there were two calls in particular that showcased his level of training and experience and the quality of officer that he is.

According to LaPlante, in March of last year, Sanderson responded to a call and was able to prevent a suspect from harming customers and employees of a local store. In another incident in September of last year, LaPlante said Sanderson was able to gather information quickly, locate a suspect that had fled the scene and prevent an assault from continuing.

For his actions in 2023, Sanderson was named the Officer of the Year.

Sanderson, however, said each member of the division deserves recognition for the work they do every day.

“Our officers clearly are in selfless service to the community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” Sanderson said. “To me, we are all Officers of the Year every year, and I am beyond proud and blessed to work beside you each and every day.”

Sanderson also called out the family members of the officers for the sacrifices they make every day and the support and love they provide.

In addition to Sander-son’s award, several other individuals from the department were recognized for their work within the community.

Ptl. Samuel Rudolph received two exceptional duty recognitions and Ptl. Cody Corado received an exceptional duty award, too.

“Exceptional duty may be awarded for performance in the line of duty, where a division member, because of his or her diligence and perseverance, completes the difficult task in which a crime is prevented, life and property are protected, a criminal is apprehended without prior knowledge from an outside source or performance shall be far above what is normally required or expected of a good division member,” Barrow explained.

Merit commendation awards, which are presented for a police division employee who displays a high degree of initiative and professionalism in the performance of their duties, were given to Ptl. Travis Brewer, Ptl. Jerry Robinson and Ptl. Austin McDermott.

The Life Saving Award was presented to Sgt. Christopher Barrow, Ptl. Bryan Fritz, Ptl. Grant Urenovitch and Ptl. Teresa Trombley for their quick response in providing lifesaving measures on a resident who had collapsed on the towpath. The individual has fully recovered.

Sprow noted the importance of having lifesaving equipment on board each law enforcement vehicle and having individuals trained in those measures.

Councilman Gabe Barrow was also presented with a citizen award for his support of the department.

“We are truly fortunate to have such a special breed of people who think of others before themselves,” Barrow said about why he spends his time supporting the Maumee Police Division.

The following awards were presented during the event:

Officer of the Year: Ptl. Derek Sanderson.

Exceptional Duty: Ptl. Cody Corado and Ptl. Samuel Rudolph.

Merit Commendation Award: Ptl. Travis Brewer, Ptl. Jerry Robinson and Ptl. Austin McDermott.

Life Saving Award: Sgt. Christopher Barrow, Ptl. Bryan Fritz, Ptl. Grant Urenovitch and Ptl. Teresa Trombley.

Thirty-Year Honorable Service: Ptl. Brian Walczak and Ptl. Derek Sanderson.

Twenty-Five-Year Honorable Service: Capt. Johnathan Warden.

Fifteen-Year Honorable Service: Sgt. Andrew Pollauf and Ptl. Gregory Kuhlman.

Ten-Year Honorable Service: Sgt. Andrew King, Ptl. Brian Hill, Ptl. William Pollock and Ptl. Travis Brewer.

Five-Year Honorable Service: Ptl. Bryan Fritz, Ptl. Austin McDermott, Ptl. Jerry Robinson, Ptl. Christopher Rutledge and Ptl. Cody Corado.

Thirty-Year Safe Driving: Ptl. Brian Walczak.

Twenty-Five-Year Safe Driving: Capt. Johnathan Warden.

Twenty-Year Safe Driving: Chief Josh Sprow and Ptl. Loren Boos.

Fifteen-Year Safe Driving: Sgt. Andrew Pollauf and Ptl. Gregory Kuhlman.

Ten-Year Safe Driving: Sgt. Andrew King, Ptl. Brian Hill, Ptl. William Pollock and Ptl. Travis Brewer.

Five-Year Safe Driving: Ptl. Christopher Rutledge.

Three-Year Safe Driving: Ptl. Jerry Robinson.

Citizen Award: Gabe Barrow.

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