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42 honored in annual Law Day ceremony

Forty-two people were presented with awards for their contributions to safety and outstanding service during the Allen County Sheriff Department's Law Day award ceremony Tuesday.

Among the tales of law enforcement success was the lifesaving story of Officer Kevin Surface.

While on duty, Surface overheard a call for the Fort Wayne Fire Department to assist with an unconscious man. Surface was near the address of the call and decided to drive to the man's house, arriving a few minutes before an ambulance could get to the home.

Surface said he found the man inside, but he was unconscious and not breathing. Surface then began performing CPR.

An ambulance arrived a short time later, and by the time the man was loaded into the back of the vehicle, he was breathing on his own and had his eyes open, Surface said.

"When it comes to performing CPR, it doesn't always turn out the way you want," he said, recalling past attempts to save civilian lives. "But this time, it did and I was able to help save his life."

Surface received a Life Saving Award for his efforts.

The Civilian Life Saving Award was presented to 12-year-old Tony Buuck, who helped rescue his 8-year-old sister Samantha "Sammy" Buuck from the family's pond in March.

The pond was coated with about 2 inches of ice when Sammy decided she would walk out onto the surface to see whether the ice would break under her weight.

After walking about 10 feet from shore, the ice cracked and she fell into frigid, 9-foot-deep water.

Tony, who was playing basketball, heard his sister's cries for help and ran to her aid, but also fell into the pond. Their father, Dale, heard the commotion from inside the house and ran to the pond, pulling Tony and Sammy to safety.

Throughout the water rescue, Tony never let go of the hood of his sister's coat.

Tony Buuck was honored Tuesday during the ceremony for turning what could have been a tragic accident into a story of heroism. Mayor Tom Henry read a proclamation on his behalf.

Six detectives and one corporal involved with the case of 9-year-old Aliahna Lemmon were also honored during Tuesday's ceremony.

Lemmon was reported missing Dec. 23, 2011, and her remains were found three days later. Her killer, Michael Plumadore, was sentenced in June to life in prison.

Although there is evil in the world, seeing hundreds of people come out to help search for the young girl was an important reminder, Fries said.

"There is more good than there is evil. And these guys are the good ones," Fries said, acknowledging the officers and families who had gathered for the ceremony.

Fries thanked officers for their dedication to their jobs and the Allen County community, stating that the officers being honored Tuesday were just a small portion of officers who do great things each day.

"We hope to be better and better every day," he said. "… Good is never good enough."

jcrothers@jg.net

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Law Day awards ceremony

Forty-one officers and one civilian were honored during Tuesday's Law Day Awards Ceremony at the Allen County Courthouse.

Letter of appreciation

Confinement Officer Tommy Wacasey

Letters of Commendation

Officer Jason Giszewski

Retired Sergeant James Rye

Corporal Alan Cook

Officer Ronell Ronning

Officer Jason Baker

Officer John David Bleeke

Fort Wayne Police Patrolman Matt Bell

Corporal Tyler Harris

Officer Duane Romines

Officer Thomas Jacob Hough

Reserve Officer Richard Warner

Officer Kenneth Litzenberg

Officer Steven Stuckey

Captain Christopher Koop

Lieutenant Michael Vaughn

Officer Warren Coonrod

Sergeant Dean Hoffman

Officer Brian Heine

Fort Wayne Police Patrolman Keith Adair

Officer John Gerardot

Officer Jack Cain

Officer Scott Borton

Officer Justin Naish

Officer Darren Compton

Fort Wayne Police Detective Jeff Ripley

Lieutenant Michael Bennington

Corporal Mark Reed

Officer Timothy Loe

Fort Wayne Police Patrolman Benjamin Young

Life Saving Award

Officer Kevin Surface

Civilian Life Saving Award

Tony Buuck

Bronze Star of Merit

Lieutenant Troy Hershberger

Lieutenant Gerald Farrell

Sergeant John Zagelmeier

Corporal Joshua Lumpcik

Corporal Keith Wallin

Corporal Brian Sell

Corporal Cary Fries

Officer Gabriel Furnish

Officer Brian Jarboe

Corporal Alan Cook

Law Day awards ceremony

Forty-one officers and one civilian were honored during Tuesday's Law Day Awards Ceremony at the Allen County Courthouse.

Letter of appreciation

Confinement Officer Tommy Wacasey

Letters of commendation

Officer Jason Giszewski

Retired Sergeant James Rye

Corporal Alan Cook

Officer Ronell Ronning

Officer Jason Baker

Officer John David Bleeke

Fort Wayne Police Patrolman Matt Bell

Corporal Tyler Harris

Officer Duane Romines

Officer Thomas Jacob Hough

Reserve Officer Richard Warner

Officer Kenneth Litzenberg

Officer Steven Stuckey

Captain Christopher Koop

Lieutenant Michael Vaughn

Officer Warren Coonrod

Sergeant Dean Hoffman

Officer Brian Heine

Fort Wayne Police Patrolman Keith Adair

Officer John Gerardot

Officer Jack Cain

Officer Scott Borton

Officer Justin Naish

Officer Darren Compton

Fort Wayne Police Detective Jeff Ripley

Lieutenant Michael Bennington

Corporal Mark Reed

Officer Timothy Loe

Fort Wayne Police Patrolman Benjamin Young

Life Saving Award

Officer Kevin Surface

Civilian Life Saving Award

Tony Buuck

Bronze Star of Merit

Lieutenant Troy Hershberger

Lieutenant Gerald Farrell

Sergeant John Zagelmeier

Corporal Joshua Lumpcik

Corporal Keith Wallin

Corporal Brian Sell

Corporal Cary Fries

Officer Gabriel Furnish

Officer Brian Jarboe

Corporal Alan Cook

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