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2019 Law Enforcement Conference awards honor ‘best of the best’


The 2019 Law Enforcement Conference, hosted in the fall by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, celebrated the great work being done by Ohio peace officers and their partners.

Yost presented the year’s Distinguised Law Enforcement Awards at a special ceremony. “These honorees truly represent the best of the best,” he said.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Chief Kimberley K. Jacobs (retired), Columbus Division of Police

For almost 40 years with the Columbus Division of Police, Jacobs — the first woman to serve as police chief — focused on excellence to open doors not just for herself but also for future officers from underrepresented populations.

“I don’t want to be the first-and-only,” Chief Jacobs liked to tell people. “I want to be the first of many.”

As Columbus’ top officer, Jacobs revamped recruitment strategies; added practices to address officer health and wellness; encouraged officers to spend more time meeting residents; created training programs on constitutional rights and the use of deadly force; and helped equip officers with tourniquets, which saved lives. 

Dr. Yvonne Pointer, an activist and philanthropist from Cleveland, accepts the •	Distinguished Civilian Leadership Award at the 2019 Law Enforcement Conference.

Civilian Leadership Award

Dr. Yvonne Pointer, activist, philanthropist (shown above)

After her 14-year-old daughter, Gloria, was violently killed in 1984, Pointer vowed that her daughter’s death would not be in vain. Her advocacy has included visits to schools and prisons to share Gloria’s story. She started groups such as Parents Against Child Killing and Positive Plus to support families who experience violence, as well as a 12-year-long midnight basketball league in Cleveland to keep teens off the streets. 

Pointer partners with police and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to comfort crime victims. She also started a scholarship in her daughter’s name and established the Gloria Pointer Teen Movement Foundation in Ghana, which has built four schools.

Officer Roy W. Tittle, of the Alliance Police Department, works with children he teaches martial arts to.

On the Job profile Officer Roy Tittle in its previous issue. Click here to read the story.

Community Service Award

Police Officer Roy W. Tittle, Alliance Police Department (shown above)

Officer Tittle co-founded an after-school martial-arts program, the 21-year-old Kick Drugs Out of Alliance, that offers kids constructive options, positive role models and a sense of pride — an effort to help them resist drugs and gangs.

Officer Tittle teaches martial arts; has directed the program for 12 years; recruits volunteer instructors; and raises funds to ensure the program remains free for all Alliance City Schools students. No one is turned away.

Law Enforcement Training Award

Gregory A. Perry, Marion Technical College

As commander of Marion Technical College’s Law Enforcement Academy and director of criminal justice and law at the college, Perry helps law enforcement officers become better officers, basic training cadets become strong officers, and people of all kinds become better shooters.

In trainings, the former prosecutor addresses firearms, defensive tactics, court testimony, undercover investigations, active-shooter response, crisis intervention and more.

“He has the patience of a saint,” said Deputy Penni Fox of the Morrow County Sheriff’s Office, where Perry has provided training since 2015.

Officer Kenneth Lawson, of the Columbus Division of Police, accepts the Mark Losey Distinguished Law Enforcement Service Award at the 2019 Law Enforcement Conference.

Mark Losey Service Award

Police Officer Kenneth Lawson, Columbus Division of Police (shown above)

Officer Lawson has been called “a one-man movement to raise awareness and mobilize the community” against human trafficking.

Beginning in 2003, he brought the issue to the attention of the police division and, recognizing the wider lack of awareness, pushed for hospital and law enforcement training, laws to address human trafficking, and engagement from community activists and social services workers. Ninety-five percent of his advocacy took place on his own time, outside of his police duties.

Said state Sen. Teresa Fedor: “It would be impossible to calculate the ripple effect of Officer Lawson’s impact on human trafficking in Ohio.”

Group Achievement Award

Metropolitan Richland County Drug Enforcement Task Force

With 120 indictments, this task force dismantled a complex group that brought drugs into Mans-field, causing fatal overdoses and shootings.

The partner agencies — the Mansfield, Ashland and Marion police departments; Richland County Sheriff’s Office; FBI; and DEA — ID’d the layers of the organization using controlled drug purchases, wire-taps and data analysis of intercepted communications and financial records.

Group Achievement Award

Central Ohio Violent Crime Working Group

This task force shut down the Trevitt and Atcheson Crips, one of the most violent gangs in Columbus’ history. Nineteen men were indicted, and nine face the death penalty.

The Columbus police, ATF, FBI and Ohio Adult Pa-role Authority linked gang members to 380 shots fired, including in murders; connected suspects to crime scenes with data from social media, cellphone towers and license plate readers; and listened to thousands of hours of jail calls. 

Ohio State Patrol troopers accept the •	Distinguished Law Enforcement Valor Award at the 2019 Law Enforcement Conference.

Valor Award

Troopers James M. Davis, Charles M. Gannon, Jason R. Hutchison and Sgt. David L. Robison, Ohio State Highway Patrol

After a crash on I-75 in Montgomery County, a small bus caught fire. Trapped inside was Cayley Seitz, the pregnant driver, whose leg was pinned. 

The troopers kept Seitz safe and calm, fighting back the flames with fire extinguishers. 

“I know absolutely if they had not been there, I wouldn’t be here,” Seitz said.