DAYTON — A Sidney native is among 18 police officers who recently were honored as Officers of the Year by the Miami Valley Crime Stoppers.
Gary Roesser, now of Troy and a patrol officer with the Dayton Police Department, was honored for his quick response that saved the lives of two victims of auto accidents along Interstate 75 and for his arrest of a woman who had just killed her children.
“It’s been nice to be there when people need me,” Roesser said of his police work. “It’s been different this year. You’re not (usually) put in a position where you’re doing medical procedures and saving people’s lives, but I got into that side this year.”
Roesser was credited with saving the life of Rochelle Cooper, of Sidney. He was the first on the scene in April after she was hit while trying to help a victim of another accident. Her legs were caught in the door of a car. Roesser applied a tourniquet to stop the profuse bleeding.
He had done the same thing when a fellow officer was hit on the highway in December 2016.
In another case, “I responded to an incident where a mother shot and killed both her kids. I was the first one on the scene and arrested the mother,” Roesser told the Sidney Daily News, Thursday.
Miami Valley Crime Stoppers comprises law enforcement departments from throughout the region. Member departments can nominate their outstanding officers for the annual honors. Major Eric Henderson, Roesser’s commanding officer, nominated Roesser. The patrolman learned of the nomination when his sergeant read it off during a roll call.
“I thought it was nice that I was nominated,” he said. “To win the award was cool. I’m grateful. I don’t go out to do the job for recognition. But it meant a lot that I was nominated. It was nice to sit down and enjoy that with my family.”
Roesser graduated from Sidney High School in 2005 and joined the Marines. It was while he was in the service that he began to think about police work.
“I got a sense of helping out and giving back,” he said. Following his discharge, he earned an Associate of Applied Science in criminal justice from Edison State Community College and also took classes at Wright State University. Married for 10 years and the father of two children, he has been a Dayton cop for four years.
He is now a training officer. Recruits who have graduated from the police academy ride with Roesser for four months before they go out on their own. The award-winner likes what he does and has no current plans to sit for the sergeant’s exam or work for a promotion.
“I enjoy being a patrol officer,” he said. “I enjoy being on the streets.”
Reach the writer at (937) 538-4824.