Community Safety Awards handed out Thursday


LIMA — The 22nd annual community safety awards program, sponsored jointly by the Lima-Allen County Safe Community Coalition, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 21 and the FOP Affiliates Lodge 8 was held Thursday in a setting unlike previous years.

In accordance to social distancing mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony was held in the FOP parking lot. In another departure from the norm, four of the seven award recipients were not present for the ceremony.

Evelyn Smith, director of the Safe Community Coalition, said the event is held annually “to recognize those in our community who have made a significant contribution to the safety and welfare of Allen County citizens.”

Smith herself nominated the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Tom Mazur, who retired earlier this year after 30 years with the Lima Allen County Regional Planning Commission, is vacationing in Wyoming and could not attend. Accepting the award on his behalf was the next executive director of the planning commission, Shane Coleman.

Other award winners honored included:

• School Safety Award Officer: Scott Jones and K9 officer Mac, Lima City Schools.

• Children Safety Award: Timothy Thurston, Court Appointed Special Advocate, Crime Victim Services.

• Youth Safety Award: Deputy Damien Tibbs, Allen County Sheriff’s Office.

• Fire/EMS Award: Brian Berheide, Deputy Chief (retired), City of Lima Fire Department.

• Traffic Safety Award: Trooper Zachary Norris, Ohio State Highway Patrol Lima Post

• Outstanding Leadership: Lt. Timothy Grigsby, Lima post commander, Ohio State Highway Patrol