Exemplary service honored
Police Chief Davis recognizes efforts, conduct of officers
YOUNGSTOWN — Youngstown police officers solve murders using their wits and intelligence. They also can solve thefts by using their powers of observation.
Both types of exemplary conduct were recognized and honored during an annual police awards ceremony Wednesday morning at St. Dominic Church.
Detective Michael Cox solved a murder by following leads from social media and obtaining surveillance video that led him to the individuals accused in the killing of Isiah Helms, 22.
On Jan 31, 2022, Cox received a call on missing person Isiah Helms. Cox logged onto Helms’ Instagram account on the internet and gathered information on one of the last people Helms had communicated with on Instagram before Helms went missing, Youngstown police Chief Carl Davis said.
Cox requested surveillance video from the Plaza View apartments, and it showed Helms getting into a light-colored Chevrolet Malibu. Then Cox found a phone number in Helms’ cellphone, and Cox was able to identify the owner of the phone number.
It led Cox to interview a woman who “confessed she set up the entire encounter at the direction of her boyfriend,” Davis said. Cox was able to determine who else was involved “and where they dumped the victim,” Davis said.
Jamiyah M. Brooks, now 19, was later charged in the murder. Helms’ body was found at Mount Hope Veterans Cemetery on Liberty Road a few days after he was reported missing.
Brooks turned himself in to police March 9, 2022. A co-defendant, Nathaniel Austin, now 34, also is charged in the case.
“Detective Sgt. Cox showed dedication and skill while working on this case. He chased down each piece of information and lead until it was exhausted in order to provide justice to the family of Isiah Helms,” Davis said.
Cox received a commendation.
The contributions of two young officers also were commended.
About 2 a.m. Feb. 13, 2022, patrol officers Andrew Balog and Deanna Jordan were on patrol when they saw a Chevrolet Malibu without license plate lights on Hillman Street. They learned the vehicle had been stolen.
The driver was taken into custody and charged with receiving stolen property and having drug paraphernalia. And he had arrest warrants from several jurisdictions.
“Despite having already worked the afternoon shift and part of the second shift, these officers continued to be vigilant and worked in a proactive manner,” Davis said. “A stolen car was recovered, and an offender was taken into custody.”
Both officers received a letter of commendation.
He also commended Sgt. Dave Sweeney, who was picking up trash in the rear parking lot of the police station in May of 2022 before roll call when he saw a suspicious man “pacing” on West Federal Street a half block away.
Sweeney advised a dispatcher of the person, leading another officer to respond. That officer chased the suspect, who had a garbage bag containing stolen equipment used by a disc jockey.
“Detective Sgt. Sweeney regularly goes above and beyond to do little things that go unnoticed,” Davis said. “You are being recognized for your efforts, actions and leadership in this incident, which led to the arrest of a burglar.”