An off-duty deputy who foiled an armed robbery, an expert evidence technician, a jail supervisor with a passion for helping to rebuild lives and the chief deputy and number two officer in the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office received the 2017 Rotary Club of Cincinnati Sheriff’s Office Awards at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel on Aug. 30.
Honorees were Terry Harper, the Hero/Valor Award; Tim Drake, the Superior Achievement Award; Don Evans, the Administrative Excellence Award and Mark Schoonover, the Career Enhancement Award.
The Rotary Club of Cincinnati initiated the Rotary Awards more than a decade ago to honor excellence in key public service professions. The awards honor members of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office in August, Cincinnati firefighters in October, Cincinnati police in April and Cincinnati teachers in June.
About the winners:
Deputy Terry Harper’s quick action resolved a dangerous and volatile situation with no injuries said Major Chris Ketteman, who introduced the nominee to a standing ovation at the Rotary Club presentation ceremony. Harper, a 28-year Corrections Officer who had never before shot his gun in the line of duty, stopped for coffee at a UDF on his way to work and ended up capturing an armed robber single handedly, with no injuries, said Ketteman.
Evidence Technician Tim Drake has processed more than 100 murder scenes as well as hundreds of bank robberies and more than 1,000 burglaries, said Lt. Bryan Stapleton, who introduced the honoree. He said Drake is a recognized expert in covert camera installations, suspect tracking, crime scene photography, 3D crime scene recreation, fingerprint recovery and comparison, DNA recovery, evidence processing, blood spatter analysis, shoe print recognition, tire track impressions and cell phone technology. Drake developed the Sheriff’s shoe print registry, built fuming tanks to process objects that cannot be processed with brush and powder techniques, built surveillance vehicles and created the department’s evidence tracking system.
Don Evans, Supervisor of the Office of Classification and Social Services at the Hamilton County Justice Center, helped develop the Recovery and Exit Pod programs to help inmates deal with substance abuse and prepare for a strong re-entry to the community. Through the Veterans Pod program he helps inmates find housing and jobs and repair and rebuild their lives. Evans, a 26-year veteran of the Sheriff’s department, works with outside agencies that present programs for inmates, making sure presenters feel comfortable in their roles and have needed materials and supplies, at times at Evans’ own expense and on his own time.
Chief Deputy Mark Schoonover was honored for Career Enhancement, which recognizes individuals who pursue and attain educational milestones that enhance their career and professionalism. As Chief Deputy he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the sheriff’s office and its 960 deputies.
Schoonover attended the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy, Northwestern University Center for Public Safety, and recently received his Criminal Justice degree from Cincinnati State College. His experience, includes the Corrections division, Patrol division, where he rose from patrolman and K-9 handler to Lieutenant Commander in charge of the Sheriff’s Office Patrol Headquarters District 3 and District 1.He was named Chief Deputy in 2013.