State trooper Juan “Ray” Santiago was presented with the Distinguished Law Enforcement Community Service Award at the 2018 Ohio Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Conference.
The Lorain native is dedicated to giving back to his hometown, where he still lives today.
Santiago, alongside other law enforcement officers, spends many of his vacation hours working for
Operation Open Heart, a nonprofit group that offers activities for boys ages six to 17 who are receiving
help through Lorain County Children Services.
Volunteers, who serve as mentors, take the kids on
camping trips and enjoy other recreational activities together throughout the year.
“He offers hope and courage to children who are in the midst of traumatic events, sets high expectations
for their success, and brings out their resilience and self-confidence,” said Patti-Jo Burnett, manager of Lorain County Children Services. “I know Trooper Santiago has altered the trajectory of many young people.”
Santiago also serves the Boys & Girls Club of Lorain County with routine safety visits and takes
part in National Night Out and Zero-Proof Mix Off, which promote traffic safety awareness.
With the patrol since 2010, Santiago was recognized four years in a row as Elyria Post Trooper of the Year. He was also honored with the Criminal Patrol Award five times. He has twice been named District Trooper of the Year. As Ohio Trooper of the Year in 2016, Santiago served as a mentor to the Buckeye Boys State participants and the junior cadets who trained at the patrol academy.