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Hilliard Officers Recognized at Awards Ceremony

Sgt Muraco receiving Chief's Award and standing with Chief Fischer

A Hilliard police sergeant who organized a large-scale active shooter training exercise with area schools was surprised with the agency’s first Chief’s Award during an awards dinner Thursday.

Sergeant Suzanne Muraco was among many police officers recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty during the Hilliard Division of Police’s 2018 Awards Ceremony and Appreciation Dinner.

Muraco, a Hilliard native who joined the agency in 1995, led the organization of a full-scale active shooter training exercise with all 1,600 members of the Hilliard City School District. The exercise, which took place in August, was the first of its kind in scale and is considered a model for other communities.

“While the idea of putting together this massive drill seemed daunting, she took on the task and immediately started gathering a team to get it done,” said Chief Robert Fisher. “The drill taught lessons that would be applied to save lives in the future, should such a tragic event occur.”

Mayor Don Schonhardt also presented the Mayor’s Award to Officer Kristen Winter and Officer Vanessa Spears. The two responded to the home of an elderly resident who had passed away, and comforted the widow. After the initial call, they committed themselves to checking in on the woman, including taking her to dinner on their own time.

“This kind of heart and compassion exceeds the demanding standard of above and beyond the call of duty,” Schonhardt said. “They reached out to this woman not for accolades, but out of compassion, and epitomize the human side of the men and women in blue.”

Schonhardt presented three individuals with the Community Service Award: Officer Randall Pugh was recognized for his work counseling a man arrested for OVI to help get his life back on track; Officer Dustin Vance was awarded for a situation in which he gave a pair of his own boots to a homeless man; and Lieutenant Doug Lightfoot was awarded for his positive work in the community, including creating the Penny 4 A Pound fundraiser and working with area special needs students.

The agency also presented Employee of the Year Awards to each of the three bureaus.

Officer Randall Pugh was named for the Bureau of Field Operations (patrol), Detective Chad Wood won for the Bureau of Investigation, and Records Management System Coordinator Heather Bryant was selected for the Bureau of Support Services.

Sponsors for the event were Heartland Bank, BMW Financial Services, Skyline Chili and Sugarplum Cakery.

Other awards include:

Longevity Awards:

  • Five Years of Service: Officer Matthew Braden, Officer Dustin Kaiser, and Officer Trevor Gill
  • 10 Years of Service: Detective Chad Wood and Officer Ryan Turner
  • 15 Years of Service: Officer Charles Lupi
  • 20 Years of Service: Officer Mike Deaton
  • 25 Years of Service: Officer Mike Metz
  • 30 Years of Service: Sergeant John Higgins and Officer Hyda Slone

Departmental Awards:

  • Commendation Citation: Officer Brandon Long
  • Merit Award Citation: Officer Brian Gano and Officer Shane O’Connor
  • Distinguished Service Citation: Officer Mike Deaton, Officer Mark Proud, Officer Hyda Slone, Detective Debbie Mullin, Detective Glenn Rogers, Detective Chad Wood, Detective Rob Seum, Sergeant Justin Cramer and Officer Kristen Winter
  • Life-Saving Citation: Officer Rich Russell, Officer Sam DiSaia and Officer Trevor Gill, Officer Johnathon Hitchings, Officer Vanessa Spears and Officer Mike Metz
  • Achievement Citations: Officer Tony Agosta, Detective Andy Anderson, Detective Marcus Blevins, Officer Matt Braden, Sergeant Josh Cohill, Sergeant Justin Cramer, Officer Ryan Davis, Officer Mike Deaton, Officer Sam DiSaia, Officer Trevor Gill, Officer Jon Gleason, Deputy Chief Eric Grile, Officer Tyler Harris, Sergeant John Higgins, Officer Jim Large, Lt., Doug Lightfoot, PR Specialist Andrea Litchfield, Officer Brandon Long, Detective Debbie Mullin, Sergeant Suzy Muraco, Officer Bill Okey, Officer Jeb Pencil, Officer Randall Pugh, Officer Rich Quigley, Officer Maggie Reed, Detective Glenn Rogers, Officer Rich Russell, Detective Rob Seum, Officer Michael Taggart, Officer Ryan Turner, Detective Austin Vogelsang, Officer Kristen Winter, Detective Chad Wood, Detective Jared Zellers.

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