CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- State Police Superintendent Col. C.R. "Jay" Smithers gave high honors to one trooper and four civilian employees Friday morning for their years of dedicated service.
Smithers handed out the awards at the State Police detachment in South Charleston to the following employees:
Senior Trooper R.A. Marsh was given the Superintendent's Award of 2012 for leading the investigation into a multicounty car-theft ring. Marsh developed probable cause to serve a search warrant that uncovered 41 stolen vehicles, 61 firearms and other items valued at $300,000. Four suspects involved allegedly retaliated by setting fire to some of the seized vehicles at the State Police detachment in Rainelle.
"Senior Trooper Marsh continues to follow up on leads from the initial investigation even though he and his family have been targets of personal threats from many of the individuals involved," Smithers said in a news release. "Marsh's detachment commander described him as being one of the best criminal investigators he has ever seen."
Bill Gallagher, director of State Police Information Technology, received the Superintendent's Civilian Award for creating programs to digitize policy and procedure manuals, department notices, department memorandums and special orders. The process has saved thousands of dollars, Smithers said.
Jason Howe, a mechanic assigned to a garage in Kearneysville, was issued the Superintendent's Civilian Award for serving as the sole repairman for more than 100 State Police vehicles. He hadn't missed a day of work until he broke his leg, and even then scheduled surgery for that around his workload, Smithers said.
Nancy Strope, a secretary for the Wellsburg detachment, was given the Superintendent's Civilian Award for leading a fundraiser for a retired trooper whose son died during a tour of duty in Iraq. She also leads a project to build a memorial to veterans in Brooke County that will be completed sometime next year.
Michelle Watson, secretary to the director of training at the State Police Academy, received the Superintendent's Civilian Award for her dedication and knowledge of accounting procedures and purchasing guidelines. She recently balanced the duties of the academy's accounting technician, who was on medical leave, with her own job requirements.