County post chooses trooper, dispatcher of year

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 6, 2003

One officer was honored for the second straight year and another received the honor for the first time as the Ohio State Highway Patrol Post 44 – Ironton recently handed out awards for outstanding service in 2002.

Dispatcher Drew E. Fry was awarded the 2002 Ohio State Highway Patrol Telecommun-ications Award and Justin K. Smith was selected as the 2002 Trooper of the Year.

Both men were chosen by their fellow officers and dispatchers. Criteria for the awards included technical knowledge, leadership, ethics enthusiastic attitude, teamwork and cooperation with supervisors, peers and the public.

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A graduate of Rock Hill High School, Fry, 28, joined the Patrol in April 2000 after attending Ohio University. Fry won the award last year as well and was excited about winning it in consecutive years.

"Just to win it once is an honor because your peers vote on it, but to win it twice is a real surprise," Fry said. "(It is great) that your peers recognize what you do, see the effort you put forth and think you project a positive image on the post to think enough of you to vote for you."

Fry said it was a dream of his to continue the tradition started by his father Harry who served in the Patrol for 20 years and retired in 1992.

"I try to learn something everyday. It is a building process," Fry said. "The main goal of the division is to save lives and promote highway safety. The most rewarding part is knowing what your are doing is worthwhile."

Smith, 27, joined the Patrol in 1999. Originally from Millersburg, he now lives in Chesapeake with his wife Julie and two children.

"It feels really good, and I am proud to receive it," Smith said. "This is my first time and hopefully will not be my last. I am honored to be elected by my peers."

Smith said he has always been interested in law enforcement and enjoys being able to serve the public.

"The most rewarding part is apprehending someone who has committed a crime against an individual," he said. "Getting DUI's off the road is also very rewarding."