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Police officers who risked lives, saved others honored in Miami Twp.

Published: Thursday, October 24, 2019 @ 2:00 AM

Miami Twp. Police Chief Charlie Stiegelmeyer recognized several officers and staff during an awards banquet Saturday night. CONTRIBUTED
Miami Twp. Police Chief Charlie Stiegelmeyer recognized several officers and staff during an awards banquet Saturday night. CONTRIBUTED

Several Miami Twp. police officers were honored recently at the department’s awards banquet, including many for putting their lives in danger or saving the lives of others.

Three officers were presented with the Medal of Valor, one with the Purple Heart and 10 others the Award of Life Saving during the Saturday night event at Dayton Christian School. It was the first awards banquet the department held in several years, officials said.

Officers James McCarty, Dave Ooten and James Swearingen were awarded the Medal of Valor, given to recognize acts of “outstanding personal bravery or heroism above and beyond the call of duty while in a police situation where the recipient’s life is in imminent danger,” according to the department.

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All three were involved in shootings, the latest in February 2018 when Swearingen wounded a Miamisburg robbery suspect. His actions were credited with resolving a volatile confrontation and also earned him recognition from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

Officer Tyler Simpson received the Purple Heart, awarded for sustaining an injury while in the performance of duty “which would constitute substantial physical harm and was the result of an intentional criminal assault.”

Simpson was injured while outside his cruiser on an Interstate 75 exit ramp as he was assisting with a crash near Ohio 725 in May 2018.

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The Award of Life Saving was presented to Officers Ooten, Tom Hupp, Crystal Rankins, Jim Neer, Brandon Young, Sgts. Mike Siney, Dets. Dan Wessling, Shawn Todd, Ray Swallen and Capt. John Magill.

Most of those awards stemmed from actions in a February 2019 murder-suicide at an apartment off Spring Valley Drive, according to the department.

A 33-year-old Army veteran is believed to have killed a child and shot his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself.

Sgt. Jay Phares was awarded Employee of the Year for 2018. The recognition goes to the employee who best exemplifies the professionalism and leadership qualities of the department’s mission statement and core values - professionalism, excellence, honor, integrity, dedication, service and courage - in their everyday performance of their duties, officials said.

Several other officers and staff were also honored.

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