Stark County's top law enforcement officers gathered for the annual Crime Prevention Breakfast Tuesday morning.

CANTON TWP.  About 175 of the county's top law enforcement officers gathered Tuesday morning to celebrate a few of their own at the annual Crime Prevention Breakfast.

The event, held at Tozzi's on 12th, honors the Canton Police Officer of the Year, Stark County Sheriff's Deputy of the Year, Community Police Officer of the Year and the Stark County Crime Prevention Citizen of the Year.

The program is sponsored by the Canton Exchange Club, the Stark County Safety Council, the Canton Police Department, Stark County Sheriff's Office, Stark County Chiefs of Police Association and the Stark County Prosecutor's Office.

The keynote speaker was Richard Cordray, a former Ohio Attorney General who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor. Cordray also served as the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The Robert D. Horowitz Citizen of the Year Award went to Andre Hooks, who pulled a crash victim from a burning vehicle.

Hooks was an eyewitness to a crash caused by a reckless driver with children in the back seat. The driver struck another vehicle head-on and then tried to fight with the victim, who was injured. Hooks pulled the victim from his burning car and gave information about the suspect to Perry Township Police. Hooks was credited with saving the victim's life.

"I just thought I was doing something for somebody else in need," Hooks said. "You guys are real heroes out there wearing those badges. So I want to thank you."

More awards

Deputy Christopher Newman was named Stark County Sheriff's Deputy of the Year. Newman has worked in the jail, civil and operations divisions of the sheriff's office and he has been a member of the honor guard since it began in 2001.

Newman coordinates many of the honor guard events, volunteering his own time "to ensure the presence of the Honor Guard for special events, award ceremonies, memorials, funerals, etc.," said Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero.

Uniontown Police Officer Brian Duman was named Community Police Officer of the Year.

Duman is credited with saving the life of his fellow officer, Sgt. Dave White, who was shot several times during a domestic dispute last July in Lake Township. Duman helped White, who was shot four times, get behind a patrol car and then ordered the suspect to stop his weapons.

"After eliminating the threat, Officer Duman immediately attended to the medical needs of Sgt. White," said Chief Harold Britt in his recommendation letter for the award. Duman then used a tourniquet to stop the bleeding to the officer's arm, used his medical kit to address the stomach wound and stayed by White's side until he was rolled into the Akron City Hospital emergency room.

"Officer Duman's response to this high stress and deadly situation was unbelievable," Britt said. "He performed bravely and honorably in his duties. He is a prime example of the type of officers that are prevalent throughout Stark County."

City police Detective Terry Monter was named the Canton Police Officer of the Year. He joined the force in 1993 when he was assigned to the patrol division. He worked as a K-9 officer from 1997 through 2010 moving to the detective bureau.

"Since 2012, Detective Monter has handled over 615 cases," Chief Bruce Lawver wrote in his recommendation letter. "These cases include: 41 homicides, in which he has a 70 percent conviction rate, 105 felonious assaults, 64 aggravated robberies and 33 sexual assault cases."

In 2013, he joined the local U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force.

Concern over weapons

Cordray talked about the shootings in Westerville and Parkland, Fla., and he spoke about "practical, common sense measures that we need to take to address these problems."

He also talked about measures he hopes to take should he be elected governor. Those include expanding background checks, increasing support for school safety measures, creating local gun trafficking task forces and appointing a gun violence prevention "czar."

"We must do more to keep these weapons out of the hands of criminals and of those who would inflict unimaginable suffering upon our children and communities," he said.

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