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July 13, 2020

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Resident's quick thinking helped law officers capture wanted fugitive

Ada police present Andrew Ward with S.A.F.E.R Award during Aug. 6 council meeting

Ada resident Andrew Ward of 540 E. Lincoln Ave., earned deserved recognition on Tuesday by the Village of Ada and Ada Police Department.

The letter to Ward is attached at the bottom of this story -

Michael Harnishfeger, police chief, presented Ward with an Ada Police Department S.A.F.E.R Award (Seeking Aid From Every Resident) during Aug. 6 Ada council meeting.

According to Harnishfeger, Andrew’s willingness to get involved and assist the police makes Ada a safer and more secure community.

Here’s the story:
On June 22, Ward was approached at his home by a man who asked for money. Ward noticed the man was driving a vehicle with Texas license plates and Ward wrote down the license number.

He also did some detecting work on his own. Based upon what he discovered he became aware that the man was a wanted FBI fugitive.

Chief Harnishfeger told the Ada council members that Ward then called for law enforcement and reported the information. After a brief period, officers of the Ada Police Department and Hardin County Sheriff’s Office discovered the suspect vehicle in Ada. They subsequently arrested the man on an outstanding FBI warrant.

Harnishfeger said that the person was wanted in connection with a kidnapping and subsequent ransom payment and with threats to kill and rape the kidnapped person.

“A very dangerous person indeed, and in fact, this manhunt covered three different states after the suspect had absconded from justice,” said Harnishfeger.

“Your decision to get involved and properly notify law enforcement was key to the capture and apprehension of this dangerous man.”

In 2002 the Ada Police Department created a community policing program called S.A.F.E.R. Harnishfeger said, “It is our firm belief that the safety and security of our community is directly related to the effectiveness of our partnership with our residents and the public’s willingness to take part in the safety and security of their own community.