Each year, Prosecuting Attorney D. Lee Buckingham II recognizes two officers in honor of each Hamilton County officer’s distinguished service to the community and the pursuit of justice. One investigator (usually holding an assignment as a detective) and one road officer are selected from the nominations garnered from within the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
At a ceremony held on January 21st in the Commissioner’s Courtroom at the Hamilton County Judicial Center in Noblesville, Prosecuting Attorney Buckingham (photo, second from right) said that with all the change and growth the county has endured over the last nine years he’s been in office, "there is one thing that has not changed: The fact that Hamilton County generally has very high standards for their law enforcement officers and high-quality individuals who live up to those standards serving in those roles." Mr. Buckingham continued and described the "difficult selection process because of the great number of fine law enforcement individuals in the county who care about what they do and strive to do the very difficult job of being a law enforcement officer to the best of their ability."
That extreme difficulty resulted in Prosecutor Buckingham honoring two detectives with the distinction of Investigator of the Year and a patrol officer and his K-9 partner as Road Officer of the Year for 2019.
First, he recognized Detective Dave Finn of the Fishers Police Department as Investigator of the Year for 2019. As an investigator, Det. Finn (photo, far right) works a variety of cases. Det. Finn became a police officer after serving five years in the United States Marine Corps. Since joining the Fishers Police Department in 2007, Det. Finn worked for five years in the patrol division before joining the investigations division. Det. Finn distinguished himself with genuine compassion toward the victims in the cases he investigates and with balanced attention to all cases, regardless of the overall seriousness of the allegations.
Prosecutor Buckingham also honored Detective Mike Haskett of the Noblesville Police Department as Investigator of the Year for 2019. Det. Haskett (photo, second from left), a law enforcement officer since 2002, has served as a detective since 2008. Det. Haskett distinguished himself with the knowledge and patience to work a case to its fullest and follow it whereever the evidence leads him. Det. Haskett is also a skilled and compassionate interviewer.
Finally, Prosecutor Buckingham recognized Officer Jarred Koopman and his K-9 partner Harlej as Road Officer of the Year for 2019. Officer Koopman (photo, far left) joined the Fishers Police Department in 2011. Harlej joined the Fishers Police Department in 2015, and, as Koopman’s K-9 partner, had been deployed hundreds of times. Harlej made the ultimate sacrifice while pursuing a suspect in November 2019; his actions may have saved the lives of Officer Koopman and the other officers involved in that pursuit. Officer Koopman and Harlej worked tirelessly over the years and helped to take quantities of drugs, large and small, off of our county’s streets.