Those honored were presented awards in categories for Meritorious Service, Life Awards, Trooper of the District, the Ray Reed Memorial Award, Capitol Police Officer of the Year, Outstanding Investigation of the Year, and the Trooper of the Year Award.
The Trooper of the District Award was selected by the command staff from each of the state police districts across Indiana. Factors district command personnel used to determine the Trooper of the District included, traffic and criminal enforcement, community involvement, specialty team assignments, instructor ratings, and other services performed for the department beyond normal expectations.
This year Master Trooper Michael Gruett received the Trooper of the District Award for the Bremen Post for his outstanding service to North Central Indiana. Gruett has been an officer with the state police since 1985 and currently resides in Plymouth.The Trooper of the District Award was also presented to Master Trooper Stephen Fulk from the Toll Road Post. Fulk lives in Middlebury and has served the state since 1987.
Life Awards are presented to the trooper of each district with the highest annual total number of impaired driving arrests (OWI).
This year Trooper John Wilson from the Bremen post was honored with the Life Award for his 69 OWI arrests. Wilson has been a member of the state police since 2007 and resides in Bourbon.
Trooper Matthew Lazoff was awarded the Life Award for the Toll Road Post. Lazoff made 68 impaired driving arrests in 2011. Lazoff, a resident of Hudson, has been a trooper since 2007.
This event was conceived by Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell, Ph.D., with the first ceremony being held on February 22, 2006. Superintendent Whitesell felt the need to publicly recognize the achievements, deeds of self sacrifice, and accomplishments that all too often go without the proper recognition.