GALLIPOLIS — As part of Peace Officers Memorial Day, the Gallipolis Police Department traditionally recognizes one of its own as Officer of the Year and Patrolman Shane Plantz was named thus by a vote of his peers.
“The City of Gallipolis Police Department hereby names and honors Patrolman Shane Plantz as the Gallipolis Police Officer of the Year,” said Gallipolis Police Chief Jeff Boyer, Tuesday. “Being duly elected by his own peers, you have been chosen as the Gallipolis Police Officer of the Year for 2020. In choosing an Officer of the Year, members of the department were charged with selecting one among themselves that demonstrates honesty, integrity, loyalty to the department, knowledge of the job and how they apply that knowledge.”
Plantz has served with the department for the last four years and is currently assigned as the department’s partnering member with the Gallia-Meigs Major Crimes Task Force. He has done so for the last two years and assists area law enforcement in tracking, arresting and convicting drug traffickers and dealers. Boyer said that Plantz, despite having no prior experience in undercover narcotics investigations, has “adapted and excelled” in the role.
Plantz has also been recognized twice with the department’s Life Saving Award and has served with its special response team and on its honor guard.
“He’s come a long ways in four years,” said Boyer. “He’s done a lot in a short amount of time. He’s got the officers here behind him and they and we appreciate the job he does. These guys call him at all times of the night and he still has a family.”
Boyer lauded Plantz’s dedication to both his community and family.
Plantz started with his career in law enforcement in the Village of Rio Grande in 2010 as a “special with the sheriff’s office,” he said. After, he worked as an officer at a local juvenile facility for roughly the next five years.
“I think the most challenging thing of being an officer in our community today would have to be the drug epidemic,” said Plantz. “It’s affected my life personally and professionally… I can bring that personal knowledge to the table and it’s ever adapting and changing. As soon as we get a handle on one thing, something else steps into it.”
“The most rewarding thing is getting to have positive interactions and be a positive (force) in people’s lives that they may never actually have,” said Plantz.
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Dean Wright is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing and can be reached at 740-446-2342.