MADD recognizes Top Cops at banquet

LIMA — Mothers Against Drunk Driving of Allen, Hardin and Putnam counties recognized local law enforcement officers for driving under the influence arrests during the 27th annual Top Cop banquet Tuesday.

The Top Cops from each law enforcement agency in the three counties were recognized at the banquet for their efforts toward reducing drunk driving in Putnam, Allen and Hardin counties.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, who presented the awards, said police officers are heroes and have helped in efforts to reduce drunk driving.

“The number of drunk driving arrests went down, the number of alcohol-related fatalities began going down year after year after year [after MADD was founded],” Yost said. “Still too many. Still too many people getting hurt and losing their lives, but it’s a fraction of what it was during my lifetime.”

The following officers made the highest number of arrests for operating a vehicle impaired or driving under the influence in 2021.

Ada Police Department

Sgt. John Iten, first place

Allen County Sheriff’s Office

Deputy Robert A. Wintersteller, first place; Deputy Izak Ackerman, second place; and Deputy Jared Breitigan, second place

Bluffton Police Department

Patrolman Eric Rayle, first place

Columbus Grove Police Department

Patrolman Russel Lammers, first place

Delphos Police Department

Patrol Officer Tyler Hayson, first place; Sgt. Alec Cooper, second place

Hardin County Sherff’s Office

Deputy Mason Treen, first place; Deputy Braden Jacobs, second place; Deputy Christopher Fannon, third place

Kenton Police Department

Patrol Officer Melvin Yoder, first place; Patrol Officer Luke Bodman, second place

Lima Police Department

Patrol Officer Justin Wireman, first place; Sgt. Kaitlyn Weidman, second place; Patrolman Kelsey Lutz, third place

Ohio State Highway Patrol (Lima post)

Trooper Brandon P. Schreiber, first place; Sgt. Steven G. Posada, second place

Ohio State Highway Patrol (Findlay post)

Trooper John Madigan, first place; Trooper David Lopez, first place

Ottawa Police Department

Patrol Officer Shane Vance, first place; Patrolman Matt Paulik, second place

Putnam County Sheriff’s Office

Deputy Christopher Verhoff, first place; Deputy Braden Skilliter, second place

Shawnee Township Police Department

Patrol Officer Jacob Breitigan, first place; Patrol Officer Tyler Cramer, second place

MADD is a grassroots organization with about 2 million members and supporters across the country. The group’s mission is to stop drunk driving, support OVI victims and prevent underage drinking. Since its founding in 1980, drunk driving-related deaths have been reduced by about half.

Reach Jessica Orozco at 567-242-0398, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @JessicaCOrozco.