Sabetha Memorial Post 7285 nominates Sheriff Merchant
Submitted by Patty Locher Community Awards Chairperson Sabetha Memorial Post 7285 of the VFW
Every year, the Veterans of Foreign Wars invites local posts to submit their nominee for the J. Edgar Hoover Gold Medal Award Law Enforcement Officer of Year.
In December 2017, Sabetha Memorial Post 7285 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars nominated Brown County Sheriff John D. Merchant, who has accomplished many achievements and received many honors during his years as Brown County Sheriff. Jerry Clary, Public Resource Safety Officer at the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, submitted Sheriff Merchant’s nomination to Post 7285.
At an award presentation Wednesday evening, Jan. 10, Post 7285 honored Sheriff Merchant with a certificate of recognition for his nomination and for his many achievements. The certificate reads: “In grateful recognition of unyielding adherence to the highest ideals of law enforcement in maintaining, preserving and protecting the lawful rights of all citizens.”
Sheriff Merchant’s nomination for this award was forwarded to district level. The text of the nomination, which was limited to 350 words, is printed below.
“Brown County Sheriff John Merchant is the epitome of a Law Enforcement Officer. He worked for Hiawatha Police Department prior to appointment and election as county sheriff. As sheriff, he consistently demonstrates his leadership abilities.
He oversaw planning, budgeting and construction of a new sheriff’s office building, with a jail containing a state-of-the-art correction facility equipped to handle up to 50 inmates. He oversees three divisions within his department: Patrol, Dispatch/Communications and Corrections/Jail.
He consistently shows great concern for protecting the county’s children, developing relationships in both private and public sectors to garner support and attention to children’s causes. Soon after his appointment as sheriff, he established a Child Safety Seat fitting station to assist residents with proper installation of Child Restraint systems and was on the National Child Passenger Safety Board (2013-2015).
Seeing a need to do something for the county’s high school aged students — the age group with the highest mortality rate for vehicle crashes – he presented his idea to the two school board administrations in Brown County. He then laid the foundation for a program, ‘Teen Lifesaver Initiative,’ to certify every high-school aged student in the county in First Aid, CPR, and proper AED use. This initiative has trained and certified over 600 students, and those who work with children.
An amazing, intelligent, caring sheriff, he works tirelessly for the citizens of Brown County and consistently sends notifications concerning internet, e-mail and phone scams, warning residents and keeping them informed.”
AWARDS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
2015 Kansas Sheriff’s Association Sheriff of Year
2015 Kansas Association of Counties Kansas County Official of Year
National Child Passenger Safety Board (2013-15)
2009/2016 KDOTs People Saving People Award
Strong Veteran preference for employment
Started: Sheriff’s Office Memorial Scholarship/Hiawatha, Horton High School seniors; Teen Lifesaver Initiative teaching First Aid/CPR to students; Child Restraint System Installation/Inspection station
Free car seats to low income parents
24-Hour prescription drug take-back program