POMEROY — As the year comes to a close, Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood is wrapping up his first year in office by presenting awards and announcing promotions.
Sheriff Wood recently announced the promotion of three long-time deputies to the rank of Sergeant within the department.
Deputies Mark A. Griffin, Donald S. Mohler and Adam Smith received the promotion to Sergeant effective on Jan. 6, 2014.
Sgt. Griffin is a seven year officer with the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, and is currently serving as the School Resource Officer in Meigs and Eastern school districts.
Sgt. Mohler has been with the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office for 18 years in March and has 30 years of law enforcement experience.
Sgt. Smith has served 14 years with the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office and two years prior to that with the Middleport Police Department.
In addition to the promotions, the Sheriff recently presented several awards during a Christmas and Awards Dinner held at the Pomeroy Gun Club.
Deputy Joe Barnhart was named Deputy of the Year for his work with the department.
“The Deputy of the Year award is to be awarded by the Sheriff for outstanding law-enforcement work, attention to detail and observation bringing credit to himself and this office,” said Sheriff Wood.
“Joe is our very own deputy and Children Services Officer. He loves his job and the children he protects,” added Sheriff Wood. “His keen eye has netted many drug offences. Joe’s professionalism and attitude has benefited him as well as the sheriff’s office.”
A Commendation Award was presented to Deputy Mark Griffin and Secretary Tonya Griffin, along with a Civilian Commendation Award to Farmers Bank.
The Commendation Award is presented to law enforcement officers or civilian personnel who have performed efficient and valuable service to the office, either in carrying out a specific task or in the performance of general duties over and extended period of time.
“Mark took on the task of being the first SRO (School Resource Officer) in the county and organized the SRO programs at the schools,” said Sheriff Wood. “Mark put tremendous efforts toward this program, including having a booth at the Meigs County Fair with many positive results from his efforts.”
The Sheriff presented the award to Tonya Griffin, stating the award was “For doing a proficient job and doing several job responsibilities without becoming negative and with a smile.”
The 2013 Civilian Commendation Award was presented to Farmers Bank its employees for “exemplary service to the citizens of Meigs County, Ohio, and for going above and beyond assisting our K-9 program.”
Farmers Bank conducted a series of fundraisers earlier this fall, raising over $6,000 for the Sheriff’s Office K-9 program.
The Certificate of Merit was presented to Deputy Adam Smith.
The Certificate of Merit is awarded to a Sheriff’s Office employee for outstanding performance under unusual or difficult conditions. The action need not involve exposure to physical danger, but must involve the protection of life, or property, and involve unusual thoroughness, conscientiousness, determination and initiative.
“Deputy Smith conducted the Farmers Bank armed robbery investigation and through that investigation and after 30 plus hours of continuous work, the bank robber was arrested and convicted,” said Sheriff Wood. “Deputy Smith is also being recognized for his knowledge and operation of the Jaws of Life at several accident scenes which expedited the rescue of the trapped individuals.”
The Office Citation was presented to Sgt. Bill Gilkey.
The Office Citation is awarded to a Sheriff’s Office employee for outstanding contributions to law enforcement through the success of difficulty law enforcement programs, projects or situations, such contributions being made with a high degree of professional excellence.
“Sgt. Gilkey took on the responsibility of Director of the newly formed task force and has been performing above and beyond expectations with his dedication to his job,” Sheriff Wood said.
Certificates of Appreciation were presented to Sgt. Rick Patterson, Deputy Donald Mohler, Deputy Josh Ridenour, Deputy Josh Dixon and Susan Mansfield.
Sgt. Patterson received the award for his work as a supervisor, working on CCW (concealed carry weapon) permits.
“Rick does a great job in this capacity and yet with all the CCW work he is still able to stay current on his investigations and reports,” said Sheriff Wood.
Deputy Mohler received the award for being an acting shift supervisor and for his work setting sting operations.
“Don also took it upon himself to start organizing the house checks and provides a monthly report in which house checks averaged over 100 checks a month this past summer,” said Sheriff Wood. To date 493 house checks have been conducted. The program launched June 1.
Deputy Ridenour has been an acting shift supervisor. He also assumed the responsibilities for the Sex Offender Registrations and has been assisting Sgt. Patterson with the CCW permits.
“Josh has stepped up to the plate in many ways and we are thankful for the job he is doing,” said Sheriff Wood.
Deputy Dixon is the Top Special Deputy, donating approximately 185 hours to the office.
“Josh’s heart is in law-enforcement and is an example that other specials can look up to,” Sheriff Wood said.
Susan Mansfield donates approximately 25 hours a week to help the Sheriff’s Office as a cook and on-call nurse.
Howard B. Mullen was presented a plaque marking 60 years of service to the citizens of Meigs County and the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office.