The Fraternal Order of Police, F.O.P.A. and F.O.P. Auxiliary held their annual Installation Banquet Thursday night.
During the banquet, members of Zane Lodge 5, F.O.P.A. #16, and other distinguished guests, recognized outgoing officers, and swore in the new officers, including President, Wes Elson, who replaced outgoing president, Tom Porter.
The event also featured awards, and scholarships. Including a "Citizen of the Year" award for Jack Hanna, of the Columbus Zoo.
F.O.P. Secretary, KC Jones spoke to the importance of Jack Hanna's help after the release of the forty-eight exotic animals from the farm of Terry Thompson.
"Jack voluntarily came over her and stood with the Sheriff with the many media releases, and reasonable people listened to what had happened there, and realized that the Sheriff had no choice in the matter, and what he had to do, had to be done," said Jones
Sheriff Matt Lutz served as the featured speaker at the Banquet.
Lutz was was recognized with two letters of commendation from the Senate and House of Representatives, and "Officer of the Year" for his efforts during the exotic animal case.
Lutz said the honor was a big surprise.
"I Accept these awards for the office, You never get into this job for the awards part of it, but the animal fiasco, if that's what you want to call it, the animal incident, it put us on the map," said Lutz. " And fortunately no one got hurt, and the main reason for that is that we had such good men and women working for the Sheriff's office in this county."
Lutz also said words cannot express his appreciation for Jack Hanna during the incident.