Sometimes a police officer who has worked in law enforcement for many years might lose a bit of motivation, but Dublin Police Sgt. Nick Tabernik said that's not the case with Officer Charles Sterling.
Despite being a police officer for 19 years, 13 of which have been spent in Dublin, Sterling has consistently displayed a strong work ethic, Tabernik said.
"He's constantly looking for stuff to better himself and stuff to better our unit and the agency," Tabernik said.
Tabernik nominated Sterling for Dublin's annual Officer of the Year award. Sterling was honored during Dublin's police awards ceremony Jan. 25.
For his part, Sterling said he appreciated the police department recognized and rewarded his hard work.
"It's probably the greatest honor that's been bestowed upon me during my career," he said.
Sterling, 41, said he was motivated to become a police officer because his father, Dennis, was an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper.
Sterling began his own career in police work in 1999, with the city of Cincinnati. From there, he served with the Morrow County Sheriff's Office and then the city of Galion before coming to Dublin.
The reputation for professionalism that the Dublin Police Department had drew him there, Sterling said. The city's support of its officers is apparent in the generous training and equipment budgets for officers, as well as the positive interactions with civilians, Sterling said.
"The relationship with the community here is really, really good," he said.
Sterling serves as a background investigator and also works in the department's community impact unit.
Tabernik said Sterling regularly supports other officers and offers mentorship while in the field, and personifies the department's core values.
"He's always looking to do what's right," Tabernik said.
In a department with a good number of younger officers, Sterling has also adopted an informal leadership role, sharing his experiences in the field with other officers, Tabernik said.
"Chuck brings it every day, and that cannot go unnoticed," he said.
While technologies have changed some since he became an officer, Sterling said his career path and his interactions with the community have largely remained the same.
"I love working here, and I'm going to finish my career here," he said.