Ben Cooper and Jeremy Geary obtained the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association Office Citation for their outstanding performance of duty. The award honors Ohio-based sworn officers going above and beyond their responsibilities.
Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth explained the circumstances resulting in their recognitions:
• On Jan. 27, Cooper prevented a man from potentially committing suicide in Huron Township. The man climbed a two-story structure and threatened to jump. His family members stood on the ground, pleading with him to get down. Cooper, unbeknownst to the man, climbed up the roof. Cooper then grabbed the man and, with help from other deputies, brought him back down.
“If the man jumped, he would have been seriously injured or killed and maybe even harmed someone else,” Sigsworth said. “Ben risked his own safety to keep the man from jumping. It was a great personal risk to himself. You don’t know what’s going to happen.”
• On Jan. 31, Geary responded to an incident in which a vehicle went off the road, struck a gas meter and caused a home explosion in Vermilion Township. A witness believed someone was stuck inside a car. Geary went to check on the vehicle’s occupant, but the person had since fled.
“Jeremy was walking back across the yard when the house exploded,” Sigsworth said. “The force threw him several feet, and his cruiser suffered significant damage. Jeremy ignored the risk because he wanted to help someone he thought was in trouble. He put himself at a great personal risk.”
Sigsworth then commented on their overall actions and how they epitomize what the Erie County Sheriff’s Office stands for.
“This was outstanding work by both,” Sigsworth said. “They upheld the highest traditions of law enforcement by putting themselves in harm’s way to save people from serious injury or death.”