Medals and awards

Police

Medal of Valor

Awarded for an outstanding act in the line of duty with imminent personal hazard of life, with full knowledge of the risk involved.

YearAwarded toActions
1996Sergeant Joseph McDermott
Officer Sam Millam
Officer Larry Pringle
Officer Stefan Karthan
Officer Dean Weinhardt
Officer Clark Winch
Members of the Emergency Response Team during an armed barricade hostage incident

Police Medal of Heroism

Awarded for an act of heroism, at imminent personal hazard of life in combat with an armed adversary.

YearAwarded toActions
2004Sergeant Joseph McDermott
Officer Kevin Scullin
Officer John Fink
Responded to an armed suspect threatening a subject with a gun and subsequently were involved in a shooting and the arrest of the subject.
2020Sergeant Daren Lubinsky
Officer Jeremy Puhac
Responded to a psychiatric situation call whereby the suspect murdered his mother. Officers were involved in a shooting when the armed suspect escalated the encounter.
2020Officer Joe Rizk
Officer Jeff Lee
Responded to a report of a barricaded male suspect armed with a pistol. Officers were involved in a shooting when the suspect exited his residence and fired at officers.

Police Purple Heart

Awarded for a wound received in the line of duty, inflicted intentionally by an armed adversary, and resulting in traumatic injury to the nominee.

YearAwarded toActions
1996Officer Sam Puzella
Officer Steve Karthan
Officer Dean Weinhardt
Sustained gunshot wounds during an armed barricade hostage incident

Meritorious Service Award

Awarded for a highly creditable accomplishment bringing public acclaim to the member and the Division as a result of training and devotion to duty or service to the community.

YearAwarded toActions
1976Officer Carl MedingWhile off duty, apprehended a robbery suspect in Cleveland.
1984Officer Nick SolarSaved children who were in danger in an unattended moving car.
1996Officer Sam Puzella
Officer Dale Schnell
For actions during a welfare check that resulted in Officers coming under gunfire and led to an armed barricade hostage incident.
2018Officer Ted Kiernozek
Officer Sam Gagliardi
Officer Joseph Rizk
For assisting the Hinkley Police Department on a welfare check of a reportedly mentally ill subject who was armed and who began firing inside the structure where he was located. Officers convinced the subject to agree to exit, where he was taken into custody for treatment and evaluation.

Life Saving Award

Awarded for an act performed in the line of duty which through disregard of personal safety or prompt and alert action, results in the saving of a life.

YearAwarded toActions
January 6, 2014Officer Jeff Jones
Officer Chris Scafidi
Helped save the life of a male not breathing by administering life saving efforts using an AED and CPR
February 19, 2015Officer Lynda Reeves
Officer James Keaveney
Officer Jonathan Osborne
Helped save the life of a male unresponsive and not breathing (possible drug overdose) by administering life saving efforts using an AED and CPR
November 19, 2015Sgt. Robert Safran
Officer Jeff Lee
Helped save the life of a male not breathing by administering life saving efforts using an AED
February 7, 2016Officer Brian MummertHelped save the life of a male not breathing, with no pulse, by administering life saving efforts using CPR
June 8, 2016Officer Joe Ceccacci
Officer Jeff Garcia
Helped save the life of an unconscious female not breathing (possible drug overdose) by administering life saving efforts using CPR and Naloxone
July 16, 2016Officer Joe Ceccacci
Officer Steve Szuter
Officer Joe Rizk
Helped save the life of an unconscious male not breathing by administering life saving efforts using CPR and Naloxone
August 28, 2016Officer Joe Ceccacci
Officer Joe Rizk
Officer Zachary Callahan
Helped save the life of an unconscious male not breathing (possible drug overdose) by administering life saving efforts using CPR and Naloxone
September 10, 2016Officer Joe Ceccacci
Officer Jonathan Osborne
Helped save the life of an unconscious female not breathing (possible drug overdose) by administering life saving efforts using CPR and Naloxone
September 14, 2016Officer Jeff GarciaHelped save the life of an unconscious male not breathing (possible drug overdose) by administering life saving efforts using CPR and Naloxone
November 1, 2016Officer Jeff Lee
Officer Jonathan Osborne
Helped save the life of an unconscious male not breathing (possible drug overdose) by administering life saving efforts using CPR and Naloxone
January 7, 2017Officer Joseph CeccacciResponded to a call a suspected drug overdose with an unconscious male. Upon arrival he administered lifesaving efforts utilizing CPR, an AED and Naloxone which helped save the person’s life.
February 18, 2017Officer Steve KarthanResponding to a call of an erratic driver, attempted to stop the car, but found driver not responding to signals to stop and in an apparent medical emergency. Used his police cruiser to block the car and, once stopped, had to use his baton to break out a window to put the car in park. EMS was summoned and driver was transported to a hospital for a diabetic emergency.
April 4, 2017Officer Charles Weber
Office Jeff Garcia
Helped save the life of an unconscious female not breathing (possible drug overdose) by administering life saving efforts using CPR and Naloxone
May 31, 2017Officer John Fink
Officer Steven Karthan
Officer Ted Kiernozek
Responded to a suspected drug overdose call. Officers administered multiple doses of Naloxone and saved the male victim's life
December 27, 2017Officer Scott SmithResponded to a fitness facility and found an unresponsive male. Utilized an AED and performed CPR until EMS arrived- saving the man's life
June 3, 2018Officer Jeff GarciaHelped save the life of an unconscious male not breathing (possible drug overdose) by administering life saving efforts using CPR and Naxolone.
July 16, 2018Officer Brian Mummert
Officer Joseph Rizk
Helped save the life of an unconscious male not breathing (possible drug overdose) by administering life saving efforts using CPR and Naxolone.
July 22, 2018Officer Brian Mummert
Officer Steven Szuter
Helped save the life of an unconscious male not breathing (possible drug overdose) by administering life saving efforts using CPR and Naxolone.
August 19, 2018Officer Steven Szuter
Officer John Fink
Officer Jonathan Osborne
Officer Zachary Callahan
Officer Keon Hemerlein
Responded to a report of a drowning victim. Officers performed life-saving efforts including CPR until EMS arrived- saving the man's life
July 18, 2019Officer KelemanResponded to a residence for a report of a male not breathing. Ofc. Keleman began lifesaving efforts on the male who was later determined to have had a heart attack. The quick thinking and actions helped save this person’s life.
August 26, 2019Officer Sam Gagliardi
Officer Joe Rizk
Responded to a call of a possible drug overdose involving a male subject not breathing. Officers administered lifesaving efforts including C.P.R., use of an A.E.D., and Naloxone which helped save the person’s life.
December 23, 2019Officer Jeremy PuhacResponded to a residence for a report of a possible overdose. He administered life-saving efforts including assisting family members with C.P.R. and the use of Naloxone. His quick actions and effort helped to save the life of the 59 year old female.
January 31, 2020Officer Joe Rizk
Officer Steven Szuter
Officer Derek Zelenka
Officer Jonathan Osborne
Responded to a report of a male subject running on a treadmill at the Recreation Center who had collapsed. The male was later determined to have had a heart attack. Officers utilized an AED and performed CPR on the male subject until EMS arrived. Their combined quick thinking and actions helped save this person’s life.
October 10, 2020Officer Steven Szuter
Officer Jeff Holub
Removed a male subject from a burning vehicle following a pursuit and crash of the suspect vehicle.
February 28, 2021Officer Jeff Lee
Officer Ron DeAmicis
Responded to a residence for a report of a 57 year old female not breathing. The actions of both officers saved the life of this individual who has since recovered.

Safe Driver Award

Sworn officers who operate a public safety vehicle crash free for three (3) years will receive a Safe Driver Certificate.  A crash, as documented by a crash report, incident report, or log entry will be reviewed for eligibility and determination of fault.

2018-2020Chief Brian OhlinLieutenant Robert SafranLieutenant Steve Hoover
Sergeant Scott KowellSergeant Greg HayestSergeant Jon Page
Sergeant Daren LubinskySergeant Kevin ScullinSergeant Chris Spencer
Officer Charles WeberOfficer Brian MummertOfficer Jeff Garcia
Detective Chris ScafidiOfficer Matthew SandellaDetective Sarah Merhaut
Officer Jeremy PuhacOfficer Mark LucianoOfficer Jeff Lee
Officer Joe RizkOfficer John FinkOfficer Ted Kiernozek
Officer James KeaveneyOfficer John WitthuhnOfficer Joe Ceccacci

OTOA* Unit Citation of Valor

Contributions towards the successful rescue mission during an armed barricade incident (November 2013).

* Ohio Tactical Officers Association

2014Sergeant Daren Lubinsky - Precision MarksmanSergeant Robert Safran - Crisis Negotiator
Sergeant Scott Kowell - Tactical OfficerSergeant Doug Laino - Crisis Negotiator
Officer Lynda Reeves - Crisis NegotiatorOfficer Ted Kiernozek - Tactical Officer
Officer Greg Hayest - Tactical OfficerOfficer George Keleman - Bomb Technician
Officer John Fink - Tactical OfficerOfficer Brian Mummert - Tactical Officer
Officer Sam Gagliardi - Tactical Officer

Ohio Telecommunicator of the Year

YearAwarded toActions
2007Terry GluszekProfessionally handled an E911 call of a homicide in progress in Hinckley Township

Veteran of the Year

Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial Society Lance Corporal Andrew W. Nowacki Memorial Veteran of the Year Award

YearAwarded toActions
2018Lieutenant Robert SafranSelected for his commitment to bringing positive recognition to officers who have served our country in the armed forces by developing programs such as Veteran’s Outreach and an Armed Services Recognition Badge.
YearAwarded toActions
2018Lieutenant Robert SafranSelected for his commitment to bringing positive recognition to officers who have served our country in the armed forces by developing programs such as Veteran’s Outreach and an Armed Services Recognition Badge.

Employee of the Year

YearOfficerCommunication Specialist
1977Dale Kozlik
1978Lawrence Whittaker
1979Tom Dreher
Carl Meding
1980Joe McDermott
1981Nick Solar
1984David Szuter
1989Larry Pringle
1990Hank Papushak
1991Stefan Karthan
1992Carl DeForest
1993Stefan Karthan
1998Ed Blanc
1999Carl Meding
2000Dean Weinhardt
2001Steve Hoover
2002Robert SafranJoanne Szoke
2003Lee Rankin
2004Kevin Scullin
2005Brian SchmittAnnMarie Wiencek
2006Robert MarokDeborah Forrester
2007Greg HayestTerry Gluszek
2008Charles WeberRebecca Payne
2009Sarah HostaGreg Hendricks
2010Mark LucianoKeri Quidatano
2011John FinkNancy Terry
2012Sam GagliardiJoshua Malames
2013Brian SchmittNancy Terry
2014Jeffrey JonesBecky Rantucci
2015Steven SzuterStephanie Prock
2016George KelemanNancy Terry
2017Sarah MerhautKeri Quidatano
2018*Mike Kellums
2019Joseph Ceccacci
2020Daren Lubinsky

* Prior to 2018, this award was known as the Officer and Communication Specialist of the Year.

Medal of Valor

Awarded for an outstanding act in the line of duty with imminent personal hazard of life, with full knowledge of the risk involved.

Scroll horizontally
to see entire table

YearAwarded toActions
1996Sergeant Joseph McDermott
Officer Sam Millam
Officer Larry Pringle
Officer Stefan Karthan
Officer Dean Weinhardt
Officer Clark Winch
Members of the Emergency Response Team during an armed barricade hostage incident

Police Medal of Heroism

Awarded for an act of heroism, at imminent personal hazard of life in combat with an armed adversary.

Scroll horizontally
to see entire table

YearAwarded toActions
2004Sergeant Joseph McDermott
Officer Kevin Scullin
Officer John Fink
Responded to an armed suspect threatening a subject with a gun and subsequently were involved in a shooting and the arrest of the subject.
2020Sergeant Daren Lubinsky
Officer Jeremy Puhac
Responded to a psychiatric situation call whereby the suspect murdered his mother. Officers were involved in a shooting when the armed suspect escalated the encounter.
2020Officer Joe Rizk
Officer Jeff Lee
Responded to a report of a barricaded male suspect armed with a pistol. Officers were involved in a shooting when the suspect exited his residence and fired at officers.

Police Purple Heart

Awarded for a wound received in the line of duty, inflicted intentionally by an armed adversary, and resulting in traumatic injury to the nominee.

Scroll horizontally
to see entire table

YearAwarded toActions
1996Officer Sam Puzella
Officer Steve Karthan
Officer Dean Weinhardt
Sustained gunshot wounds during an armed barricade hostage incident

Meritorious Service Award

Awarded for a highly creditable accomplishment bringing public acclaim to the member and the Division as a result of training and devotion to duty or service to the community.

Scroll horizontally
to see entire table

YearAwarded toActions
1976Officer Carl MedingWhile off duty, apprehended a robbery suspect in Cleveland.
1984Officer Nick SolarSaved children who were in danger in an unattended moving car.
1996Officer Sam Puzella
Officer Dale Schnell
For actions during a welfare check that resulted in Officers coming under gunfire and led to an armed barricade hostage incident.
2018Officer Ted Kiernozek
Officer Sam Gagliardi
Officer Joseph Rizk
For assisting the Hinkley Police Department on a welfare check of a reportedly mentally ill subject who was armed and who began firing inside the structure where he was located. Officers convinced the subject to agree to exit, where he was taken into custody for treatment and evaluation.

Life Saving Award

Awarded for an act performed in the line of duty which through disregard of personal safety or prompt and alert action, results in the saving of a life.

Scroll horizontally
to see entire table

YearAwarded toActions
January 6, 2014Officer Jeff Jones
Officer Chris Scafidi
Helped save the life of a male not breathing by administering life saving efforts using an AED and CPR
February 19, 2015Officer Lynda Reeves
Officer James Keaveney
Officer Jonathan Osborne
Helped save the life of a male unresponsive and not breathing (possible drug overdose) by administering life saving efforts using an AED and CPR
November 19, 2015Sgt. Robert Safran
Officer Jeff Lee
Helped save the life of a male not breathing by administering life saving efforts using an AED
February 7, 2016Officer Brian MummertHelped save the life of a male not breathing, with no pulse, by administering life saving efforts using CPR
June 8, 2016Officer Joe Ceccacci
Officer Jeff Garcia
Helped save the life of an unconscious female not breathing (possible drug overdose) by administering life saving efforts using CPR and Naloxone
July 16, 2016Officer Joe Ceccacci
Officer Steve Szuter
Officer Joe Rizk
Helped save the life of an unconscious male not breathing by administering life saving efforts using CPR and Naloxone
August 28, 2016Officer Joe Ceccacci
Officer Joe Rizk
Officer Zachary Callahan
Helped save the life of an unconscious male not breathing (possible drug overdose) by administering life saving efforts using CPR and Naloxone
September 10, 2016Officer Joe Ceccacci
Officer Jonathan Osborne
Helped save the life of an unconscious female not breathing (possible drug overdose) by administering life saving efforts using CPR and Naloxone
September 14, 2016Officer Jeff GarciaHelped save the life of an unconscious male not breathing (possible drug overdose) by administering life saving efforts using CPR and Naloxone
November 1, 2016Officer Jeff Lee
Officer Jonathan Osborne
Helped save the life of an unconscious male not breathing (possible drug overdose) by administering life saving efforts using CPR and Naloxone
January 7, 2017Officer Joseph CeccacciResponded to a call a suspected drug overdose with an unconscious male. Upon arrival he administered lifesaving efforts utilizing CPR, an AED and Naloxone which helped save the person’s life.
February 18, 2017Officer Steve KarthanResponding to a call of an erratic driver, attempted to stop the car, but found driver not responding to signals to stop and in an apparent medical emergency. Used his police cruiser to block the car and, once stopped, had to use his baton to break out a window to put the car in park. EMS was summoned and driver was transported to a hospital for a diabetic emergency.
April 4, 2017Officer Charles Weber
Office Jeff Garcia
Helped save the life of an unconscious female not breathing (possible drug overdose) by administering life saving efforts using CPR and Naloxone
May 31, 2017Officer John Fink
Officer Steven Karthan
Officer Ted Kiernozek
Responded to a suspected drug overdose call. Officers administered multiple doses of Naloxone and saved the male victim's life
December 27, 2017Officer Scott SmithResponded to a fitness facility and found an unresponsive male. Utilized an AED and performed CPR until EMS arrived- saving the man's life
June 3, 2018Officer Jeff GarciaHelped save the life of an unconscious male not breathing (possible drug overdose) by administering life saving efforts using CPR and Naxolone.
July 16, 2018Officer Brian Mummert
Officer Joseph Rizk
Helped save the life of an unconscious male not breathing (possible drug overdose) by administering life saving efforts using CPR and Naxolone.
July 22, 2018Officer Brian Mummert
Officer Steven Szuter
Helped save the life of an unconscious male not breathing (possible drug overdose) by administering life saving efforts using CPR and Naxolone.
August 19, 2018Officer Steven Szuter
Officer John Fink
Officer Jonathan Osborne
Officer Zachary Callahan
Officer Keon Hemerlein
Responded to a report of a drowning victim. Officers performed life-saving efforts including CPR until EMS arrived- saving the man's life
July 18, 2019Officer KelemanResponded to a residence for a report of a male not breathing. Ofc. Keleman began lifesaving efforts on the male who was later determined to have had a heart attack. The quick thinking and actions helped save this person’s life.
August 26, 2019Officer Sam Gagliardi
Officer Joe Rizk
Responded to a call of a possible drug overdose involving a male subject not breathing. Officers administered lifesaving efforts including C.P.R., use of an A.E.D., and Naloxone which helped save the person’s life.
December 23, 2019Officer Jeremy PuhacResponded to a residence for a report of a possible overdose. He administered life-saving efforts including assisting family members with C.P.R. and the use of Naloxone. His quick actions and effort helped to save the life of the 59 year old female.
January 31, 2020Officer Joe Rizk
Officer Steven Szuter
Officer Derek Zelenka
Officer Jonathan Osborne
Responded to a report of a male subject running on a treadmill at the Recreation Center who had collapsed. The male was later determined to have had a heart attack. Officers utilized an AED and performed CPR on the male subject until EMS arrived. Their combined quick thinking and actions helped save this person’s life.
October 10, 2020Officer Steven Szuter
Officer Jeff Holub
Removed a male subject from a burning vehicle following a pursuit and crash of the suspect vehicle.
February 28, 2021Officer Jeff Lee
Officer Ron DeAmicis
Responded to a residence for a report of a 57 year old female not breathing. The actions of both officers saved the life of this individual who has since recovered.

Safe Driver Award

Sworn officers who operate a public safety vehicle crash free for three (3) years will receive a Safe Driver Certificate.  A crash, as documented by a crash report, incident report, or log entry will be reviewed for eligibility and determination of fault.

Scroll horizontally
to see entire table

2018-2020Chief Brian OhlinLieutenant Robert SafranLieutenant Steve Hoover
Sergeant Scott KowellSergeant Greg HayestSergeant Jon Page
Sergeant Daren LubinskySergeant Kevin ScullinSergeant Chris Spencer
Officer Charles WeberOfficer Brian MummertOfficer Jeff Garcia
Detective Chris ScafidiOfficer Matthew SandellaDetective Sarah Merhaut
Officer Jeremy PuhacOfficer Mark LucianoOfficer Jeff Lee
Officer Joe RizkOfficer John FinkOfficer Ted Kiernozek
Officer James KeaveneyOfficer John WitthuhnOfficer Joe Ceccacci

OTOA* Unit Citation of Valor

Contributions towards the successful rescue mission during an armed barricade incident (November 2013).

* Ohio Tactical Officers Association

Scroll horizontally
to see entire table

2014Sergeant Daren Lubinsky - Precision MarksmanSergeant Robert Safran - Crisis Negotiator
Sergeant Scott Kowell - Tactical OfficerSergeant Doug Laino - Crisis Negotiator
Officer Lynda Reeves - Crisis NegotiatorOfficer Ted Kiernozek - Tactical Officer
Officer Greg Hayest - Tactical OfficerOfficer George Keleman - Bomb Technician
Officer John Fink - Tactical OfficerOfficer Brian Mummert - Tactical Officer
Officer Sam Gagliardi - Tactical Officer

Ohio Telecommunicator of the Year

Scroll horizontally
to see entire table

YearAwarded toActions
2007Terry GluszekProfessionally handled an E911 call of a homicide in progress in Hinckley Township

Employee of the Year

Scroll horizontally
to see entire table

YearOfficerCommunication Specialist
1977Dale Kozlik
1978Lawrence Whittaker
1979Tom Dreher
Carl Meding
1980Joe McDermott
1981Nick Solar
1984David Szuter
1989Larry Pringle
1990Hank Papushak
1991Stefan Karthan
1992Carl DeForest
1993Stefan Karthan
1998Ed Blanc
1999Carl Meding
2000Dean Weinhardt
2001Steve Hoover
2002Robert SafranJoanne Szoke
2003Lee Rankin
2004Kevin Scullin
2005Brian SchmittAnnMarie Wiencek
2006Robert MarokDeborah Forrester
2007Greg HayestTerry Gluszek
2008Charles WeberRebecca Payne
2009Sarah HostaGreg Hendricks
2010Mark LucianoKeri Quidatano
2011John FinkNancy Terry
2012Sam GagliardiJoshua Malames
2013Brian SchmittNancy Terry
2014Jeffrey JonesBecky Rantucci
2015Steven SzuterStephanie Prock
2016George KelemanNancy Terry
2017Sarah MerhautKeri Quidatano
2018*Mike Kellums
2019Joseph Ceccacci
2020Daren Lubinsky

* Prior to 2018, this award was known as the Officer and Communication Specialist of the Year.