An off-duty deputy who foiled an armed robbery, an expert evidence technician, a jail supervisor who helps rebuild lives and the No. 2 officer in the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office received the 2017 Rotary Club of Cincinnati Sheriff’s Office Awards.
The club initiated the 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.
The winners were honored during a ceremony at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel.
Hero/Valor Award: Deputy Terry L. Harper
Harper, a 28-year corrections officer who had never fired his gun in the line of duty, stopped for coffee on his way to work last March and ended up capturing an armed robber singlehandedly. The robber pointed his gun at the deputy, who in turn fired a shot. Harper gradually defused the situation, and the robber surrendered.
Superior Achievement Award: Technician Tim Drake
Drake has processed more than 100 murder scenes as well as the scenes of hundreds of bank robberies and more than 1,000 burglaries. He is a recognized expert in covert camera installations, suspect tracking, crime scene photography, 3D crime scene re-creation, fingerprint recovery and comparison, DNA recovery, evidence processing, blood spatter analysis, shoeprint recognition, tire track impressions and cell phone technology. In addition, Drake is a range instructor, motorcycle patrol officer and academy instructor.
Administrative Excellence Award: Office Supervisor Don Evans
As supervisor of the Office of Classification and Social Services at the Hamilton County Justice Center, Evans’ job includes working to help inmates stabilize their lives when they return to the community. “Don doesn’t give up on them,” said the colleague who introduced Evans.
A 26-year veteran of the department, he helped develop programs to help inmates deal with substance abuse and prepare for a strong re-entry to the community.
Career Enhancement Award: Chief Deputy Mark Schoonover
This award recognizes individuals who pursue and attain educational milestones and achievements that enhance their careers and professionalism. Schoonover is a 36-year member of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the sheriff’s office and its 960 deputies. Schoonover has attended numerous trainings and leadership schools and recently received a criminal justice degree from Cincinnati State College. He was named chief deputy in 2013.