Thursday, May 23, 2002

Police officers, citizens honored for teamwork

Dinner recognizes contributions

By Allen Howard,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Teamwork is the lifeblood of police work, whether chasing a criminal, investigating a tip, setting up a Web site, designing a uniform or implementing ideas.

        Police officers and others who exemplify teamwork and other qualities important to their work were were recognized at the Hamilton County Law Enforcement Community's Police Appreciation and Achievement Awards dinner over the weekend at the Sharonville Convention Center.

        Among the winners:

        • District 1 Cincinnati Police Officer Paul Renadette led an impromptu task force that nabbed a criminal who sprayed an unknown fluid (which turned out to be saliva) on women in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

        Officer Renadette received the award for “Best Investigative Job Leading to the Solution of a Crime.”

        After setting up a decoy operation, the task force arrested Anthony Searles, of Riverside, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor offenses of criminal mischief and inducing panic. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, five years probation and mandatory psychological treatment.

        • St. Bernard Police Chief Stephen A. Moeller gathered information from residents, businesses and other departments to redesign police work in that city.

        Chief Moeller received recognition for “Improvements to Police Operations.”

        “I accepted the award, but this recognition was made possible by a lot of community interaction and a team effort,” Chief Moeller said. “Most of the awards given out at the dinner could not have been accomplished without the help of a lot of people.”

        Chief Moeller sent surveys to every residence and business in the city, seeking the public's perceptions and needs for police service.

        “We developed a Web site and also sent out a newsletter letting people know who the officers were,” he said.

        • Sgt. Ed Buns of the Hamilton Police Department went beyond the badges and uniforms to reach the hearts of children in his work with Special Olympics and the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

        Sgt. Buns, who was recognized for “Police Work with Children,” has worked in Southwest Ohio, organizing and coordinating the Law Enforcement Torch Run to raise funds and awareness for the Special Olympics program.

        • Lt. Col. Richard Janke of the Cincinnati Police Department received the “Superior Achievement in Police Leadership Award.” He has shown that leadership as SWAT commander, operations commander during the April 2001 riots and patrol bureau commander.

        • Springdale Police Officer David J. Buschmann was recognized in the “Contribution to Law Enforcement” category. Dec. 5, he assisted in the arrest of Clayton Lee Waagner, one of the FBI's most-wanted fugitives.

        But Officer Buschmann's work with senior citizens is primarily what led to his recognition. He started programs to give safety information to seniors, attended meetings with them, conducted home security checks and investigated neighborhood problems.

        • District 3 Officer Thomas Haas received the “Act of Bravery Award.” A fleeing suspect fired at him while being chased through an alley in Over-the-Rhine. He faced a suspect at Beekman Street and Moosewood Court in Cumminsville who fired at him several times before he shot the suspect and called for a rescue. Officer Haas also received the Robert Hovater Award for Valor from the Hamilton County Police Association in January for those incidents.

        • Police Sgt. Stephen W. Saunders was recognized for “Superior Achievement in Professionalism.” He is responsible for administrating crime-prevention activities as a supervisor in District 1's Neighborhood Unit. He is a nationally certified police mountain bike instructor.

        Sgt. Saunders has instructor certification in emergency vehicle operation, defensive tactics and community policing.

        • Citizen awards were given to Jerry Bowen and Larry Day. Mr. Bowen of Cumminsville assisted Cincinnati Police Spc. Les Mendes in subduing a suspect who was struggling with the officer.

        Mr. Day, of Colerain Township and principal of Winton Woods High School, has supported the DARE and School Resource Officer Programs, the Student Police Academy, mentoring programs with the police department and the annual National Night Out.

        The “Corporate Appreciation Award” went to the Ford Motor Co., a longtime sponsor, for the Police Appreciation and Achievement awards program.


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