Rock County Sheriff's Office announces 2013 awards

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Gazette staff
Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Rock County Sheriff's Office employees last year stopped inmates intent on suicide, kept accident victims from dying and risked their lives in the performance of their duties.

They are among those receiving the office's 2013 awards on Wednesday night.

Following are the awards and descriptions of the awardees provided by the sheriff's office.

Sheriff F. Joseph Black Award, Capt. Craig Strouse

Strouse was nominated by a correctional officer for Strouse's energetic, enthusiastic and passionate leadership style. Strouse was instrumental in preparing and developing jail personnel as they staffed the renovated facility. Strouse is described as a transformational leader who cares about all members of his staff and helping them succeed.

Deputy of the Year, Luke DuCharme

DuCharme is a first-shift patrol deputy and a member of the honor guard, Mobile Field Force and field training officer. DuCharme serves often on the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area patrols and instructs employees on tactics for identifying drug trafficking and illegal activity. He also volunteers as a youth football coach and for the local food pantry.

Correctional officer of the Year, Larry deLorimier

DeLorimier has served the sheriff's office since 2008. He is assigned to the Community Corrections Workender Program and was noted by his peers as always willing to help and as someone that makes their workday easier. Officer deLorimier is a forward thinker who consistently plans ahead.

Support Staff Person of the Year, Sara (Fischer) Anderson

Administrative assistant Anderson was instrumental in the sheriff's office change to the Spillman Records Management System. She helped develop a usage plan and worked with company experts during the implementation. Anderson has demonstrated her insight and thorough ability to help others in a process that can be difficult and frustrating. The change would have been difficult without her hard work and dedication.

Sheriff's Awards

-- Detective Ron Betley—Betley has been with the sheriff's office since 1997. He has served on a number of specialty teams/assignments. Currently he is an assistant team leader on the SWAT team, an instructor for firearms and defense and arrest tactics and has reached the level of a Wisconsin master instructor for vehicle contacts.

-- Sgt. Jay Wood—Wood has been with the sheriff's office since 1999. He is a first-shift sergeant for the patrol division and oversees numerous grant programs.

Wood was instrumental in organizing the first countywide traffic campaign involving multiple agencies for St. Patrick's Day in 2013. He also partnered with AAA of Wisconsin and the state Department of Transportation to create an educational campaign for students during the 2013 prom season and collaborated with local high schools and businesses to create the Rock County Operation Click Chapter, to prevent young drivers from drinking and driving.

Lifesaving Awards

-- Correctional officer Elijah Millard, who discovered an inmate trying to commit suicide and through quick and decisive actions prevented serious injury or death.

-- Correctional officer Grant Wolff, who discovered an inmate trying to hang himself. With his keen observations and quick action, Wolff prevented serious injury.

-- Deputies Maria Amador and Josh Molter, who encountered a semitrailer truck that hit a guardrail. The driver appeared to be in cardiac arrest. They gave the driver CPR until an ambulance arrived. The driver made a full recovery.

-- Deputies Josh Molter, Tony Barr, Jeff Adams and Maria Amador, who were dispatched to a motorcycle accident in which the driver had suffered severe head injuries and stopped breathing. They performed CPR and utilized an automated external defibrillator. The patient recovered but sustained long-term injuries.


-- Deputies Luke DuCharme and Bambi Stoikes, who responded to a shots-fired complaint that involved an injured female. In spite of a threat to their own safety, they found the victim with the intent to rescue her while having no idea where the suspect had hidden himself.

-- Deputy Corene Bilhorn, who discovered information that a homicide suspect was going to try to escape from jail. She involved the correctional staff, and the escape was prevented.

-- Deputies Michael Schauer, Gregory Joseph, Caleb Beutin, Greg Westness and Ryan Bittorf, and sgts. Troy Egger and Mark Thompson, who responded to an officer needing assistance. The officer had been disarmed and was being violently assaulted by a suspect. The responding deputies acted quickly to gain control of the suspect and take him into custody.

-- Deputy Monica Fuentes, who while off-duty and eating in a Janesville restaurant, observed smoke coming from a building across the street. She saw a man enter the building and went to see if help was needed. A portion of the roof had collapsed, and flames were visible. Fuentes told the man to leave the building. Firefighters said that if the man had remained inside. he most likely would have been killed.

Community Service Award, Sandy Hill and Pat Swartout

Hill and Swartout organized the sheriff's office effort to send care packages to military personnel deployed overseas. They advertised, organized, filled, packed and shipped 75 packages.

Unit Citation, the special weapons and tactics team

The SWAT team conducted 12 operations in 2013, including search warrants, barricaded subjects and dealing with a homicide suspect.

Team members are Capt. Todd Christiansen, Capt. Curt Fell, Sgt. Mark Thompson, Sgt. Dave Rossmiller, Sgt. Aaron Burdick, Sgt. Josh Lund, Sgt. Brian Aubrey, Sgt. Matt Jacobson, detectives Brent Reilly and Ron Betley, and deputies Jason Wescott, Ben Riemer, Shawn Nolan, Matt Reckard, Nathan DeBoer, Chris Villalpando, Josh Molter, Neil Bennett, Mike Stalker, Dan Peters and Dr. Rod Van Beek.

National Defense Award, Correctional officer Jeremy Hoff

Hoff is a sergeant in the Army National Guard and was deployed for 15 months in Afghanistan. He survived multiple combat missions, receiving numerous medals and commendations.

Citizen Awards

-- Lois Corwin, executive director of Friends of Noah—Friends of Noah assisted the sheriff's office in providing new homes for 103 animals in need in 2013. Friends of Noah provided equipment to help catch and save animals, contact information for other resources and free training for sheriff's office humane officers.

-- Mona Antonelli, who since 1994 has served as an key part of the Rock County Sheriff's Office RECAP Program. As an employee of Blackhawk Technical College, she linked the college with the program and helped secure funding. Her work enabled the RECAP program to keep providing educational opportunities and classroom materials to inmates.

-- Adam James Durham, who saw a suspect fighting with a deputy. As the deputy called for assistance, Durham stepped in and helped control the suspect until more deputies could arrive. His help resulted in no injury to the suspect or deputy.

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