EATON — The Preble County Sheriff’s Office recently recognized Employees of the Year from each division for 2020.
Employees are recommended by supervisors in their respective divisions based on several criteria, including work ethic, professionalism, job knowledge, commitment, and teamwork.
Those honored were Terri Shepherd (911 Dispatcher), Dep. II Ty Chellis (Corrections), Randy Creech (Support Staff), Dep. Nikolas Soder (Road Patrol/Investigations), Capt. Shane Hatfield (Supervisor) and Dep. James Randy Tunnel (Special Deputy Unit).
“I am very proud of the job that our entire team here at the Sheriff’s Office does on a daily basis. The employees who were recognized for 2020 operated at a very high level and I thank each of them for their efforts,” Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson said.
Shepherd is a nearly 30-year veteran to public safety dispatching. She began her career with the Eaton Police Division and recently transferred to the Sheriff’s Office when the dispatch centers merged. During her career, she has fielded thousands of emergency and non-emergency calls from the public, ensuring that public safety services reach Preble County citizens.
“Her calm demeanor and extensive job knowledge allows her to provide exceptional service,” Simpson said.
Dep. Chellis has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 2006, serving as a Corrections Officer in the jail. Chellis received his Ohio Peace Officer certification in late 2006, graduating from the Sinclair Community College Police Academy. He received his Corrections Officer certification at the Greene County Career Center.
“[His] 14-plus years of service have provided a great foundation for his solid work ethic and teamwork approach to his job every day,” Simpson said.
Creech currently serves as the Concealed Carry Permit Technician with the PCSO. He processes hundreds of permits each year, ensuring that applications are accepted and processed in a timely manner. He also processes background checks for civilians. Creech retired from the Lewisburg Police Department after 25-plus years of service. He rose to the rank of Chief and served in that capacity for 10 years, and he is also a member of the Lewisburg Fire & EMS Department.
“Randy provides exceptional customer service every day to our citizens,” Simpson said.
Dep. Soder joined the Sheriff’s Office in 2019 as a part-time Deputy Sheriff. He accepted a full-time position with the PCSO in 2019 as well. He is assigned to the Road Patrol. Soder received his Ohio Peace Officer certification in 2012 from the James A. Rhodes State College and has completed many in-service training courses during his career.
“Deputy Soder does a great job interacting with our residents each day, providing professional police services,” Simpson said.
Capt. Hatfield joined the Sheriff’s Office in 2011 as a Special Deputy. He left the Office in 2014 for a short stint when he served with the Darke County Sheriff’s Office. He returned to the PCSO office when he accepted a full-time Deputy Sheriff position in 2014, where he was assigned to the Road Patrol. In 2018, he was assigned to Investigations. In December of 2019, he was promoted to the rank of Captain. He is one of two supervisors who supervises the Road Patrol Division on a daily basis. Capt. Hatfield earned an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from the Eastern Gateway Community College.
“He does a tremendous job each day, leading our Road Patrol Division alongside Capt. Andy Blevins. His attention to detail and leadership skills are a great example to our entire staff,” Simpson said.
Dep. Tunnell joined the Sheriff’s Office in 2014 as a Special Deputy. The Special Deputy Unit provides support to the Sheriff’s Office from Auxiliary deputies who are certified peace officers. Dep. Tunnell earned an Associate Degree in Natural Resources Law Enforcement from Hocking College in 1981 and received his Ohio Peace Officer Certification in 1983.
Randy retired from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources – Division of Wildlife, after a 30-year career as a Wildlife Officer & Investigator. Dep. Tunnel is a certified firearms instructor with the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission and assists with firing range training throughout the year.
“Randy’s life-long commitment to public service is an example for all of us,” Simpson said.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 or follow on Twitter @emowenjr