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 patrol officer are selected from the nominations garnered from within the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
At a ceremony held on February 15th in the Commissioner’s Courtroom at the Hamilton County Judicial Center in Noblesville, Prosecuting Attorney Buckingham (photo, middle) spoke not only before a gathered crowd of law enforcement officers, prosecutor’s office staff, members of the awardees’ families but also to others who were able to watch and listen remotely. Hamilton County and its communities have consistently been recognized among the safest places to work, live, and raise a family. Citing the analysis conducted by SafeWise, Prosecutor Buckingham expressed, “Year after year, Hamilton County has remained at or near the top of the list of safest places in the entire state of Indiana." He explained, “In Hamilton County we don’t just have one city in the top ten list of the safest cities in the state, no, and it’s not just two or even three. No. All four of Hamilton County’s cities are listed in the top seven on the list of the safest cities in Indiana. … An incredible record of safety like Hamilton County has experienced over the last eleven years does not happen accidentally. ... A lot of hard work by community leaders and all of the members of the Hamilton County law enforcement community, working together with the support and assistance of my office, and vice versa, helps make this impressive record possible.”
Prosecutor Buckingham recognized Detective Christopher Bay (photo, second from right) of the Carmel Police Department (Chief Jeff Horner: photo, far right) for his exemplary work throughout the year. A graduate of Decatur Central High School and veteran of the United States Air Force, during which he earned an Associate’s Degree, Christopher Bay has served as a police officer in the City of Carmel since January 2013. In his first year within the department’s Investigations Division, Detective Bay distinguished himself with his thoroughness and attention to details, especially as it related to the violent armed robbery of a business last year.
Prosecutor Buckingham recognized Officer Jonathan Mathioudakis (photo, second from left) of the Westfield Police Department (Chief Joel Rush: photo, far left) for his exemplary work throughout the year. A graduate of Hamilton Southeastern High School and Indiana University, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Informatics, Jonathan Mathioudakis has served as a police officer in the City of Westfield since June 2020. Officer Mathioudakis distinguished himself through the impressive volume of quality investigations he refers to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and his willingness to communicate both with prosecutors and his colleagues about how his work can improve.
Each year, Prosecutor Buckingham talks about how it is never easy to select the recipients of this award -- not because of a lack of viable candidates but rather because of the difficulty in selecting just one recipient in each category from the many deserving officers within the county. Prosecutor Buckingham explained further, “Hamilton County law enforcement officers are working 24/7/365 to keep our citizens safe. My staff and I are available and on call 24/7/365 to provide advice and support to our law enforcement partners. Whether it be to answer questions, provide legal advice, obtain search warrants or prosecutor’s subpoenas, answer questions about the Laird/Red Flag Laws, or respond to major crash or crime scenes, my staff and I pride ourselves on being there to assist the Hamilton County law enforcement community be as effective as possible and the best that it can be. As I have said for eleven years now, my office and Hamilton County Law Enforcement are both better off, and we both succeed, for Hamilton County and the Hamilton County Criminal Justice System, when we work well together.”