BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — The 28th annual Law Enforcement Appreciation and Awards Banquet honored local law enforcement officials for the work they do to keep the community safe every day.
The event took place on February 5 at The Pinnacle with brave men and women in blue attending the event along with their families and members of the community. Maumee Police Chief Dave Tullis credited the department’s success with important community partnerships.
“A police division that has a great partnership with the community they police – that includes our schools, business and citizens – makes our jobs safer, efficient and enjoyable,” he said.
Since taking over the duties of chief last year, Tullis has focused on fostering those relationships while ensuring that officers, dispatchers and support staff have opportunities for growth through training and quality leadership. He is also focused on an officer wellness protocol to promote good habits and policies outside of work. Such policies help to prevent post-traumatic stress disorder while preparing officers to combat stress in a positive and productive manner, he said.
Recruiting young men and women to join the force by taking part in job fairs, internship opportunities and more is also important to maintain a quality division.
“I believe every day our officers and I should be recruiting young men and women to be Maumee police officers,” Tullis said.
Maumee Mayor Richard Carr thanked the officers for their dedication to the community. He also credited the professional manner in which Maumee police officers conduct themselves, especially when interacting with the community with events such as Shop With a Hero or playing a game of kickball with kids over their summer break.
“Our community greatly respects everything that you do,” he said.
He also offered special appreciation to the citizens receiving awards.
“Thank you for stepping up and making a difference. It’s what makes Maumee the special place that it is,” he said.
The citizens who stepped in to help officers were recognized with Citizen Comm-endation Awards. Linda Urbanski received the award for her volunteer work with events such as the charity rummage sale and Shop With a Hero, and Breanna Mouch received the award for reporting an assault incident and working with the police until the case was resolved. Recipient Florence Matyas alerted officers of a structure fire at a trailer, and recipient Jason Thomas quickly alerted police about a fire on Alco Street, which saved significant potential property damage. Ramon Ramirez, Terry Baker and Gary Lubinski of Stoneco Quarry assisted in the arrest of a driver traveling at a high rate of speed from Whitehouse through Maumee, and Dave Schmitt of United Parcel Service carefully intervened in a potential senior citizen scam, which prevented the individual from losing a significant amount of money. Amanda and Jeremy Michael assisted with an injury rollover accident on southbound I-475. Other recipients receiving awards but unable to attend the banquet included Janet Jarabek, Daniel Delgado and Thomas Lonitro.
The Medal of Exceptional Duty was presented to officers Jillian Elliott and Travis Brewer. Elliott raised hundreds of dollars for the Susan B. Komen Foundation and organized Shop With a Hero, helping 55 children in need. Brewer used a garden hose to contain fires at both a complex and a home, while alerting residents to the danger and preventing substantial damage.
The Chief’s Achievement Award was presented to Sgt. Andrew Pollauf. His outstanding work effort, good communication, honesty and the ability to put people at ease garnered him the award, Tullis said.
“I knew I could count on officer Pollauf to always do the right thing,” Tullis said.
Ptl. Greg Kuhlman also received the Chief’s Achievement award along with the evening’s biggest honor of being named the 2019 Officer of the Year.
Referring to Kuhlman as a “model officer,” Sgt. Mike Love said that Kuhlman goes above and beyond and is a great asset to the Maumee Police Division.
“Patrolman Kuhlman sets the bar very high for other officers on the department,” Love said. “Some people chose law enforcement for the notoriety of hero status. It is obvious that he chose the profession because he has a passion for helping other people in need in serving this community.”
Kuhlman said he was truly surprised to learn he was receiving the award.
“It is truly an honor and a privilege because there are so many great officers on this department that deserve recognition not just for the job, but how they do the job,” he said.
He extended his gratitude to his family, including his parents, wife Heather and daughters Emma and Lyndi. He also said that being an officer means more than writing a ticket or making an arrest.
“It’s about service to the community and having positive interactions with people by showing respect, compassion and going above and beyond to help them, even when it isn’t a police matter.”
The following awards were also presented at the banquet:
• Life Saving Award: Sgt. Andrew Dean, Ptl. Andrew King, Ptl. Austin McDermott, Ptl. Travis Brewer, Ptl. Sean Bakhsh and Ptl. Cody Corado.
• Honorable Service: Sgt. Nicholas Foels, 25 years; secretery Kathy Babka, 20 years and Ptl. Loren Boos, 15 years.
• Safe Driving: Ptl. Greg Westrick and animal control officer Ken Streichert, 15 years; and Ptl. Krystal Sellers, Ptl. Cory Henson and Ptl. Caroline Hoover, three years.
• Crossing Guard Honorable Service: Terry Bossert, 15 years; Vicki Haggard, 10 years; and Jackie Cooke, Doug Sneider and Kim Sandy, five years.