Ovens selected as Hiram officer of the year

By Rachel Hagenbaugh Staff Writer Published:

Officers of the Hiram Police Department selected Dave Ovens as the 2012 "Hiram Police Department Officer of the Year."

Each year the officers submit nominations for who they feel goes beyond the call of duty, is a team player and acts and serves as a mentor for younger officers, Police Chief Ed Samec said.

"Ovens definitely fits all of those categories," Samec said. "He's always willing to help anybody, no matter what it is, within the department and the community."

Ovens assists with many safety programs held each year, but Samec said his efforts are instrumental in the "Click It or Ticket" seat belt enforcement program. He prepares the yard signs and banners, and develops and organizes the programs for the campaign. Ovens also participated in the "Bicycle Safety Rodeo" that was held at the department on July 4.

A 17-year veteran of the department, Ovens is also an instructor with Kent State University's Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy and is a driving instructor for AAA. He teaches classes for teen drivers who are court mandated to go through remedial driving training.

The Portage County Chapter of MADD also recently recognized Patrolman Brian Gregory and Cpl. Al Gilbert for their efforts and enforcement of impaired drivers.

Gregory and Gilbert are also active in impaired driving programs in Hiram, such as the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign and other alcohol awareness programs that the department participates in with Hiram College.

"They take pride in their enforcement," Samec said. "But, it's not just enforcement alone. It's everything put together."

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1123 or rhagenbaugh@recordpub.com

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