Clark County hires 3 new deputies

School safety concerns push department to its largest in history, sheriff says.

Three new Clark County sheriff’s deputies were recently sworn in to duty, bringing the number of full-time deputies to the highest number in the office’s history.

Sheriff Gene Kelly said his office now has 136 deputies and has hired more deputies because of the increased emergency calls for service from area schools and the county’s efforts to put more resource officers in school buildings.

“This is due to the increased number of calls to schools, our commitment to keep our schools safe, so in 2016-17 school year we will have three full-time deputies just assigned to work with the schools to make sure their safe places for our children,” Kelly said.

The deputies sworn in were Paige Rector, Kevin Good and Leah Farris.

Rector was previously an Enon police officer and is a Springfield High School graduate who earned her Peace Officer Certificate at Clark State.

Good is a Southeastern High School graduate who also has a bachelor’s degree from Muskingum University. Good previously worked for the Madison County and Pickaway County sheriff’s offices.

Farris graduated from Tecumseh High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Wright State University. She has a master’s degree from Tiffin University. She also received a peace officer certificate from Clark State.

Twelve current deputies also received awards for exceptional work.

The deputies who received awards for life-saving events are: Vaughn Apel, Andy Miller, Ryan Weaver, Ben Barrett, Morgan Eckler, Jesse Ward, Austin Bowers, Amy Oliver, Rachel Allender and nurse Kim Mason.

Deputy Mieko Lyons received an award for exceptional service, stopping an inmate escape.

Sgt. Ronnie Lemen received the Homicide Award for his investigation into a heroin overdose that resulted in the county’s first conviction of a drug dealer for manslaughter.

Kelly said he thinks it’s important for new deputies to see other deputies being rewarded and awarded for their work in the jail, on the streets and investigating crimes.

“They need to see that we recognize good work, and I also want their families to see that we expect from them to support them in their efforts to uphold that oath to this community,” Kelly said.

Kelly said deputies serve the community in many ways and deserve recognition for saving lives.

He said three different deputies on three occasions intervened in suicide attempts.

“Because of the efforts of the deputies, they saved lives, they made a difference, they gave people another chance,” Kelly said.