Optimist Club honors Officers of the Year

By Megan Kennedy

May 13, 2014

The Optimist Club International observes the first week of May each year for “respect for law,” awarding those nominated with recognition and thanks.

Supervisors in each department of every law enforcement office in the county receives an email, offering the opportunity to recognize those who exemplify above-and-beyond police work. The Optimist Club received nominations from both the Sheriff’s Department and the Eaton Police Division.

“I count it as an honor to have been awarded,” said Deputy Paul Plaugher, with the Preble County Sheriff’s Office. “I don’t think I have done anything incredibly special … I enjoy doing my job. I count it as a privilege to do what I do and get paid for it,” he said. “I go out and do my job and try to do the best job that I can do.”

Deputy Plaugher has been with the Sheriff’s Office for roughly 15 years, and a full-time Deputy since the end of 2006.

“He’s put in quite the effort,” said Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson regarding Deputy Plaugher. “He’s a good employee. He’s very goal and detail-oriented … If you put Paul on a task, in this point, being proactive on drug investigations, he does an excellent job with that,” said Sheriff Simpson.

Detective Pete Wray with the Eaton Police Division was also nominated for the award.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to actually be nominated and to win it,” said Det. Wray. “Especially to share it with Paul.”

Deputy Plaugher and Det. Wray share a similar turf, both dealing drug-related investigations. “He’s a great Deputy, and I love working with Paul,” said Wray.

“Pete’s reputation of hard work and dedication goes further back than just 2014 … I can say that every year I’ve worked with him he constantly works hard and does great things as a detective and police officer,” said Eaton Police Chief Chad DePew in a written statement. “His ability to locate, investigate, and curtail drug activity is exceptional. He has a genuine desire to keep drugs out of our community … Our agency, and our community, is a better place because of Pete.”

Wray was also nominated for the award in 2005.

“It’s always nice when you get recognized for things that you do,” said Det. Wray. “I’m not in this job for the recognition or anything, but it’s always appreciated.”

“My thanks to the Optimist Club for the honor,” said Deputy Plaugher. “My thanks to the supervision at the Sheriff’s Office for the nomination.”