CHARLESTON (JG-TC) -- Members of the union representing Coles County sheriff's deputies recently honored two deputies.

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 207 presented Tyler Heleine with its annual Officer of the Year Award and named Steve Spear as the first recipient of its Distinguished Service Award.

Heleine is a lieutenant in charge of the sheriff's office patrol division and the honor was based in part on his part in an investigation that led to the solving of the 1980 Airtight Bridge murder case, according to information from the union.

Last year, he and Lt. Christina Stephen of the sheriff's office questioned and obtained a confession from the husband of the woman who was killed and whose body was found at the the bridge.

The union also indicated that Heleine's selection for the award was also based on his going beyond his regular duties and helping other sections of the sheriff's office.

Spear, a sergeant with the office, received the Distinguished Service Award for work "beyond the call of duty" and that benefits the community, the union indicated. Those included Spear's work with the Girl Scouts as well as conducting firearms and hunter safety courses.

Union members voted on the award and they were presented to the officers during the lodge's holiday party on Dec. 1.

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