Trooper of the year recognized

A leader that others can look up to and someone who is cool and calm under pressure is how his coworkers describe Trooper David Handschumacher, with the Marietta Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Accolades like those are why Handschumacher, a Frontier High School graduate, was chosen as the Trooper of the Year at the Marietta Post.

“It is truly an honor and it feels good to be appreciated,” said Handschumacher, who has been at the post since 2011 and with the patrol since 2005. “But it’s because of these people, the people I work with are a great crew and we work together and help each other.”

One of Handschumacher’s daily tasks is to train new recruits as a field training officer. Reid Phillips, 24, is one of those new to the post.

“I’ve been here 46 days; he’s a good trainer,” Phillips offered.

Trainees witness everything that a trooper does on a daily basis, from writing speeding tickets to helping stranded drivers to dealing with drug trafficking. On Tuesday, three units were on Interstate 77 trying to capture someone who had robbed a Walmart and stolen a car out of the Cambridge area.

While being a state trooper does have some stressful and dangerous elements, the positive aspects of the job, for Handschumacher, include being a help to others.

“Being able to help broken down vehicles, helping people get home for the holidays, things like that, that’s what I like about my job. That and the people I work with,” he said.

Handschumacher said, along with his coworkers at the post, rely a lot on first responders from volunteer fire departments and EMS.

“I like to give them a shout-out whenever I can because they help us so much,” he said.

The process of choosing Trooper of the Year at the post requires a sealed ballot and every trooper, sergeant and the lieutenant casts a vote.

“Every time we stop someone, it’s a crisis situation and Dave knows how to be a leader and keep a cool head in those situations,” said fellow trooper Lea Mikes. “He also helps with things we do here at the post, like the Christmas parade. And if any of us have a problem, whether professional or personal, we know we can come to Dave. He’s just an all-around great guy.”

Every Trooper of the Year at a post has the opportunity to win District and State Trooper of the Year. The last time the Marietta Post had a Trooper of the Year statewide was Caleb Courson in 2009, according to Lt. Chris Chesar.

“It makes us proud. It is important for our troopers to be recognized by the community because they are helping in positive ways, through enforcement and education on traffic safety,” Chesar said.

David Handschumacher

¯ Age: 45.

¯ Residence: Newport area.

¯ Family: Wife, Stormy; son, Caden.

¯ Education: Graduate of Frontier High School and Ohio State Highway Patrol Training Academy.

¯ Served in the United States Marine Corps.

Source: David Handschumacher.