LRS member named Crime Stoppers Officer of the Year

  • Published
  • By Capt. Elizabeth Caraway
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Master Sgt. Eric Cornett, 445th Logistics Readiness Squadron quality assurance, works a job during the week that very few people could do. As a detective with the Strategic Response Bureau of the Columbus Police Department, Cornett assists in the arrest of elusive wanted persons. He tracks down and brings in people wanted for rape, kidnapping, assault, human trafficking and burglary. He also locks up those wanted for murder warrants.

It's a job that requires the patience to stake out a location for 12 hours and the discipline and skill to bring in that wanted person even in combative situations. Cornett isn't just good at his job, though. He's one of the very best, evidenced by his Central Ohio Crime Stoppers Officer of the Year awarded Oct. 23.

Cornett came from a single parent home, learning a strong work ethic and later went on to serve in the Navy, Army and Air Force. A self-described "Type A" personality, Cornett's tenacity and intuition have served him well as he has climbed the ranks of the Columbus PD the past 23 years, eventually earning a spot in the elite Strategic Response Bureau, where he has worked for 7 years. The SRB consists of two teams of 10, one serving the north and one the south, and it's responsible for bringing to justice hard-to-find alleged criminals.

His devotion to his job can be seen in his response to his phone call informing him he'd won the Crime Stoppers annual award. Deep amidst researching suspect resources, tracking electronic paper trails, and calling leads, he took the call and, after exchanging pleasantries, said," I'm hunting a killer, what do you need?" Cornett is continually motivated by the knowledge that if he doesn't stop them, no one will.

"You have to stop these guys; if you don't take them out, they'll take you out," says Cornett. "That puts you in the mindset that, 'I'm going to get you. You're not getting away.'"
The work that
Cornett performs for the 445th, keeping vehicle operations and training in compliance, has admittedly been more tame, but he says he is grateful for it: "Everyone here [at the 445 LRS] does good work. My job here is a break. I compare it to a football player; he isn't an aggressive athlete all the time, but when he puts his helmet on..."

Cornett has "put his helmet on" a lot this past year. Examples include the apprehension of a motorcycle gang member and fugitive wanted for arson and military AWOL, a man wanted for multiple counts of aggravated robbery, and a man wanted for a double shooting. Perhaps his most notable arrest this year came in August, after six weeks of tireless effort. Cornett brought to justice a man wanted for rape, kidnapping, felonious assault and aggravated burglary.

His focus and discipline don't go unnoticed in his Reserve unit.
"Sergeant Cornett is a superior troop. He'll take charge of any situation," said Senior Master Sgt. Ryan Pratt, 445 LRS QA superintendent.

And how do his co-workers feel about working with a hard-core cop?

"It gives them a sense of pride that they are working with him, because they know he always does the right thing," said Pratt. "We are lucky to have him in our unit."