A Graham High School graduate was recently recognized as the top patrol trooper in the state for 2018.
Trooper James E. Hutchinson, of the Hamilton Post, received top honors as the 2018 State Trooper of the Year in February as part of the 2018 Leadership Awards.
Hutchinson, who graduated from Graham in 1992, was selected from nine District Troopers of the Year from across the state for the award.
“I’m going to be honest. I’m still in shock,” Hutchinson told the Daily Citizen Monday about receiving the award. “I still pull in my driveway everyday and when I’m in my personal car or if I’m out in the patrol car I look at that front license plate that says ‘State Trooper of the Year’, I’m still in shock. It was very humbling and shocking.”
Hutchinson joined the highway patrol in April 2012 as a member of the 139th Academy Class. He earned his commission in October 2012 and was assigned to the Xenia Post. In 2015, Hutchinson earned the Certificate of Recognition and in 2017, he earned the Criminal Patrol Award.
As a trooper, Hutchinson also served at the Batavia, Hamilton and Cincinnati posts, the Patrol Training Academy and the Southwest Ohio Motorcycle Unit.
Speaking of people instrumental in his law enforcement career, Hutchinson said he was fortunate to meet former Urbana Police Officer Jeff Eggleston. Hutchinson said Eggleston was his driver’s education instructor and got him into law enforcement.
Other people Hutchinson acknowledged were Highway Patrol Capt. Danny Springs and retired Highway Patrol Capt. Shawn Lee.
A press release announcing the award states for the last two years Hutchinson has worked a road patrol assignment in the city of Middletown where he has built relations with the police department, courts and other government officials. He gives back to the community by participating in a backpack program which provides school supplies for underprivileged children and regularly volunteers at the Lifehouse Church where he and his family attend.
“Trooper Hutchinson has established himself as a resource to the patrol and the community he serves,” the release states. “He prides himself in professional service and treats everyone with respect. Trooper Hutchinson makes it a priority to arrest impaired and drugged drivers.”