SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP — A year of successful criminal investigations has earned Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Dan Jesse the Ashtabula Post’s 2012 trooper of the year award.
Jesse, who is a two-time OHP Ace award and Blue Max award winner for the recovery of stolen vehicles, said he is honored to be chosen by his peers as trooper of the year.
“I guess they all thought I did a good job,” he said.
Despite being off the job for 4 1/2 months last year, Jesse led the Ashtabula post in criminal investigations for the year.
He also spent a lot of time performing background checks on trooper applicants.
“It is a very lengthy, time consuming process. One application can take two full weeks of work,” he said.
Jesse joined OHP in May 2004 as a member of the 142nd Academy Class. He received his commission in November 2004 and was assigned to the Ashtabula post.
His goal is to help people as much as possible when on the job.
“I like helping people,” he said. “At the end of whatever my contact with the public is, I like to get that ‘thank you.’ I like being able to help people out in whatever capacity I can. That’s why I joined the post, to help people.”
Jesse said his role with people can be during highly emotional moments.
“I know that I am interacting with them during a highly emotional time, especially because of serious injury, death of a family member or loved one,” he said. “I am just trying to be there to comfort them and let them know that it is going to be OK. My goal is to make every contact I have with the public as positive as I can.”
Jesse describes himself as a “driven personality.”
“I know that criminals are out there, using our roadways every single day to commit the crimes they are committing,” he said. “It doesn’t stop at drugs or stolen vehicles, either. We see everything from terrorists to human trafficking. Those criminals are coming through here every day. Especially with Interstate 90, there are a lot of people nationwide who come through this area every single day.”
OHP Lt. Jerad Sutton said Jesse is an outstanding asset to the Ashtabula post.
“He is always willing to help others,” he said. “He is very deserving of the post award.”
When Jesse isn’t on the road for OHP, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Katie, and their 7-year-old son, Levi.