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    Happiest law enforcement officers receive Kiwanis awards

    By Roger LaPointe, Fremont News-Messenger,


    PORT CLINTON ― Kiwanis annual Law Enforcement Award recipients Officer Curt Cochran and Deputy Phil Langhals were called the happiest guys in their departments.

    The 40th annual Law Enforcement Awards Day Kiwanis club luncheon was held on Wednesday at à la Carte After Hours Restaurant.

    “For many years, we have had the privilege of honoring an officer of the year from the Port Clinton police department and a deputy of the year from the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, with awards chosen by their peers,” said David George, Port Clinton Kiwanis president said.

    This year', the's recipients are Cochran, from the Port Clinton Police Department, who was accompanied by his wife, Andrea, and presented by Chief David Scott; and Langhals, from the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department, accompanied by his wife, Jane, with presentation by Sheriff Steve Levorchick. Master of ceremonies was Carl Koebel.

    This is the second time Cochran has been given the award. The first time was when he worked as a sheriff’s deputy.

    “Other than everything Curt does for the community, other than being officer of the year, he should probably be nominee for citizen of the year, too, for all the things he does for the community. This is well deserved,” Scott said. “I’ve been talking to people over the last several days, when I found out that Phil Langhals got it for the sheriff’s department, and I will honestly say that they are probably two of the happiest people in law enforcement that I know. They are always smiling and always helping people and always happy. I’ve never seen either of them in a bad mood.”

    Scott noted some of the many activities Cochran takes part in. In addition to being a youth coach for soccer and baseball, Scott reluctantly admitted Cochran is also a volunteer firefighter.

    He has also had his dog, Lucy, a mini-golden doodle, trained as a therapy dog. The two work with NAMI teams whenever there is an incident.

    Levorchick spoke about Langhals.

    “Phil was voted Deputy of the Year, and received more votes than any Deputy of the Year ever has, in the sheriff’s office,” Levorchick said. “He’s honestly probably our morale leader in the Corrections Division. He comes to work every day in a great mood, and is in a great mood all day long.

    “I’ve never seen Phil in a bad mood in the 21 years that I’ve known him. I’ve been blessed to know him the entire time he’s worked with us, whether I see him in the office, out of the office, on-duty or off-duty, this man is always in a good mood, and always lifting other people up. He doesn’t lift himself up, but lifts up the other people around him. He is a true leader,” Levorchick said.

    Langhals, who works third shift in the jail, had a few words that brought some laughs from the law enforcement crowd, with a humorous double entendre in reference to working with both his co-workers and the Port Clinton Police Department.

    “I love you guys. Thank you very much. It’s been a pleasure serving Ottawa County and the community, and I’ve met some pretty cool people on both sides of the law,” Langhals said.

    After the awards were given out, Sherriff’s Office Chief Brad York commented on Cochran’s double nominations.

    “As they said, he was an exemplary employee who helps everybody. He shows leadership in everything he does and doesn’t hesitate to help anybody, and that’s why he’s been nominated twice, in each department. That shows a lot,” York said.

    Each officer was given a pin to wear on his uniform, plus a certificate and desk award. Their names are also engraved on the common plaque with all the previous award winners.

    There were 13 members of the police department attending, and 27 members of the Sheriff’s Department.


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