2015: Bethany Hayes
Bethany L. Hayes was named the recipient of the 2015 Brian T. Wagner Community Leadership Award.
This award was established by the Muskingum County Community Foundation (MCCF) in 2005 to honor volunteer leaders between the ages of 18 and 55 and to encourage other young adults to lead efforts to improve Muskingum County.
Hayes, a New Concord resident, serves as Director of Public Safety and Assistant Director of Facilities at Ohio University Zanesville and Zane State College. Her law enforcement career spans 14 years.
MCCF Council selected Hayes based on her strong record of community service in Muskingum County. Hayes said she is committed to volunteerism, combining her profession as a public servant with her personal dedication to helping others. “I volunteer as much as possible, using my profession as a vehicle, to educate children and adults, agencies, and organizations to keep them safe and informed against potential harm that could arise,” Hayes stated.
She added that she leads by example for others to follow. “I believe it is important to give back to the communities I work and reside in,” she said. “It would be extremely unfortunate not to seize an opportunity to help someone else if we have the ability to do so.”
Hayes has voluntarily led several free public workshops for Muskingum County residents on deterring crime, educating and ensuring personal safety, and emergency management planning. She started conducting “Stranger Danger” events in 2011, aimed at educating children. She actively presents ALICE sessions for “Responding to Critical Incidents and Active Killer Situations.” This training is geared toward schools and workplaces, preparing them to respond to and survive violent encounters. She also offers self-defense and awareness sessions for women. Thousands of local adults and children have participated in these outreach programs.
In July 2014, Hayes planned and coordinated the first Multi-Agency Response Drill for Muskingum County involving more than 250 attendees from eight counties. The event, which simulated an active shooter incident on campus, was hosted by Ohio University Zanesville and Zane State College and involved various local law enforcement agencies and other first responders.
Hayes has been an active auxiliary police officer with the Village of New Concord since 2000 and has donated more than 300 volunteer hours to the department in the past two years. She is an Executive Committee member of the Muskingum County Sexual Assault Response Team and Rogge Foundation Muskingum County Community Engagement Recreation and Sports Group. She also serves on the Leadership Muskingum Alumni Committee, the Emergency Management Association, and is a Homeland Security Terrorism Liaison Officer for Ohio.
In addition, Hayes has been a member of Big Brothers Big Sisters since 2013 and currently is a big sister to a 12-year-old girl. From 2007-2009 Hayes organized fundraising events for a “Back to School” program providing book bags full of school supplies to New Concord Elementary School for children in need. She has taken part in the “Shop with a Cop” program with the New Concord Police Department, helping provide presents for underprivileged kids at Christmas. She also has participated in many “Talking with a Cop” discussions with local preschools in the New Concord area.