The ceremony recognizes dozens of state and district award winners for their valuable contributions to our state and communities.
Among them is a trooper who spent several years with the Norwalk post.
Sgt. Thomas Halko, currently with the Sandusky post, was honored with the Colonel Thomas W. Rice Leadership Award, which is presented to one sworn supervisory officer for outstanding leadership.
The award is sponsored by the Ohio State Highway Patrol Retirees’ Association and is in honor of former Patrol Superintendent Thomas W. Rice.
Halko’s leadership and enthusiasm was immediately apparent from his first day at the Sandusky post, and he has been instrumental to the growth and success, according to a news release announcing the awards.
Halko’s level of commitment to his people’s success is evident in everything he does. Under his leadership, the Sandusky post’s arrests for OVI (operating a vehicle while impaired) went from average to having the second largest increase in the state. The morale at the Sandusky post has been significantly improved due to Halko’s leadership. In addition to his duties as a sergeant, he makes annual monetary donations to his local school system and donates clothes to the district’s needy children.
Halko began his patrol career in May 2007 as a member of the 148th Academy Class. He earned his commission in December of that year and was assigned to the Norwalk post. In 2014, he earned the Criminal Patrol Award. He was selected as Post Trooper of the Year three times.
In 2016, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and transferred to the Sandusky post to serve as an assistant post commander.