Bath detective earns county ‘Top Cop’ award for work with U.S. Marshals Task Force

by Laura Bednar

Det. Mike Gabel, a full-time Bath Township Police officer for the past 30 years, has earned the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office “Top Cop” award.

Each month, Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh chooses a Top Cop based on nominations from staff members. Kelsey Dennis, victim advocate in the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office, nominated Gabel for the award. The Victim’s Assistance program works on severe felony cases like robbery, murder and rape.

Gabel said he works with Dennis in his capacity as a part-time officer with the U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force. He is the longest serving part-time officer on the force with 20 years of service. He previously worked with the force one day a week, but is now called out for investigations across the country to bring back wanted felons.

“U.S. Marshal Peter Elliott authorized us to go anywhere to bring people back,” Gabel said, adding that warrants must originate in Ohio.

The case that earned him Top Cop recognition involved a man who sexually assaulted two young boys while dating their aunt. The man was arrested, put in jail and when he got out on parole, immediately started harassing the boys again. The Akron Police Department sent out a warrant and Victim’s Assistance notified the task force, which found and apprehended the man last spring.

Gabel said it is an honor to receive the award.

“I’m humbled and a little embarrassed. I like to stay in the shadows,” he said. ∞