LIMA — The Lima/Allen County Safe Community Coalition recognized first responders, business owners and area individuals who made significant contributions to making the community a safer place Thursday.
This year’s categories included a school safety award, which was presented to Sheriff Matthew Treglia, Allen County Sheriff’s Office, for his office’s role in handling the investigation into the threat made against Bath Middle School in May.
Berlin Carroll, court administrator for Probate and Juvenile Court and treasurer for the Fraternal Order of Police, said the sheriff’s office installed a heightened police presence at the school to insure student safety. Deputies were also seen interacting with students, keeping them calm during the threat.
“They give me the award, but I have to be honest with you, my whole office worked together; from the administration to the detectives to the shift supervisors that night and the deputies working to handle this call,” Treglia said. “It goes to our entire office, who worked to handle this professionally and swiftly.”
Ben Anderson, with State Farm Insurance, said he was pleasantly surprised when he received a letter informing him of his nomination for the Outstanding Citizen’s Award for the work he and his team do with Allen County youth. Anderson said they are very active in supporting Safety City, which teaches thousands of young children in the county about different safety issues.
Anderson’s State Farm team held a billboard contest during the year, where Bath High School students created their own billboards with community safety messages, such as not texting while driving. State Farm Insurance then posted those billboards around the area, he said.
“If we can affect those that are young and influence them at an age before they’ve had a lot of outside pressures, that’s only going to be better in the long run because they are our future leaders of tomorrow,” Anderson said.
The Safe Community Coalition includes entities such as law enforcement, EMS, hospitals and other local organization dedicated to community safety, Carroll said. Each year, the coalition asks for nominations from these organizations for area individuals who stand out because their efforts to improve community safety stand out.
“Each year we make it known we’re accepting nominations for this process,” Carroll said. “They come in from a very wide range of sources. There’s a pool of individuals who then look at the nominations that come in, and then they decide on which categories we want to recognize this year and which programs ought to be highlighted.”
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362