LIMA — Being a police officer, a firefighter or an emergency medical technician can often be a thankless job, with many in the public taking their work for granted. However, the Lima-Allen County Safe Community Coalition made a special effort to honor exemplary public safety workers during its award luncheon Wednesday at the Lima Fraternal Order of Police Lodge.
“These are the people who put themselves out there every single day, and they don’t think anything of it because it’s just part of their day,” said Evelyn Smith, project manager for the Allen County Regional Planning Commission. “When we call the police department, the sheriff’s department or the fire department, those folks are right there. They put themselves on the line and we take it for granted.”
During Wedensday’s luncheon, now in its 17th year, awards were distributed over multiple catagories, from fire safety to youth and school safety to traffic safety. Special recognition was given to retired Ohio State Highway Patrol Auxiliary Randy Schaefer, with three police officers, Dustin Brotherhood of the Lima Police Department, Sgt. Rob Kohli of the Shawnee Township Police Department, and Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Shawn Cook receiving the Outsanding Service Award for their work in drug recognition.
“What a drug recognition expert does is evaluate drunk driving, normally, and determine the catagory of drugs they’re under and whether or not they’re impaired,” Kohli said. “Sometimes we discover it’s a medical impairment that’s the cause of this, and this prevents someone from being prosecuted for a medical issue.”
While Kohli was honored to receive the award, he reiterated that this is simply his job and he is not out for notoriety.
“I want people to not know I’m there,” he said. “I want to be able to clean things up and have things out of sight and out of mind for everyday citizens so they don’t have to worry about the things I have to deal with.”
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.