The Gahanna Police Department last week renewed an old tradition, honoring the city's finest during a June 11 ceremony.

The Gahanna Police Department last week renewed an old tradition, honoring the city's finest during a June 11 ceremony.

Officer Jason Jones was named the officer of the year.

Deputy Chief Ken Bell pointed out that the department received more than 30,000 calls last year.

"We handled 33,695 calls for service in 2008," said Bell, who served as the master of ceremonies.

"Those calls generated over 4,000 police reports -- twice as many as we had in just 2005," Bell said.

During last week Gahanna City Council meeting, council member Nancy McGregor said the six Lifesaving Awards bestowed upon officers surprised her. Each was for an attempt -- sometimes successful and sometimes not -- to save a life.

"I think of Gahanna as this little sleepy town," she said.

She also marveled at the personal stories, pointing to one in which an officer arrived on the scene of a serious auto accident to find that she had gone to school with the victim.

Mayor Becky Stinchcomb said the Lifesaving Awards were indicative of the service the department gives to the community.

Those earning Lifesaving Awards were Sgt. Sheila Murphy and officers Kyle Parrish, Ross Nicol, Ann Jodon, Justin Sheasby and Darren Price.

Jones also received a Legion of Honor, the division's highest award for bravery exhibited in the line of duty. Jones, 35, lives in Worthington.

Jones started with Gahanna as a part-time officer. Three years ago, he became a full-time officer. He previously worked in executive protection, Bell said.

Other major awards were as follows:

Citizen Commendation Award: Jennifer Snider and Tom Smith.

Commendation Award: communications officer Katie Teeter.

Exceptional Duty Award: Detective Ernest Choung and procurement officer Randy Hall, who also is a part-time officer.

Chief's Award: Detectives John Power and Kevin Hoffman, who each received two chief's awards; Detective Sgt. Monty McCormick; Detectives Tom Ingram and Kelie Anderson; and officers Mike Gray, Christopher Thomas, Ben Roush, Jodon and Terry Goulden.

Mayor's Award: Choung.

Civilian Employee Award: Rick Creps, fleet manager.

Support Officer of the Year: part-time officer Mike Ore.

SWAT Officer of the Year: Gray.

Communications Officer of the Year: Kara Slatinsky.

Supervisor of the Year: Jeff Spence.

God & Country Award: Officer Matt Cochran, for his service with the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Iraq 2008.