‘He wants to continue serving and protecting’: Local sheriff’s deputy wins highest honor

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VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — After a police pursuit that ended with one man in custody, Sergeant Richard “Drew” Stangle of the Vigo County Sheriff’s Office, received the highest honor the Indiana Sheriff’s Association can hand down.

Working in law enforcement was always a life long goal of Sergeant Stangle but he never imagined receiving “Deputy Sheriff of the Year”. He says receiving this award took him a while to process.

“There’s many emotions I felt after this. The first one was very humbling,” Sergeant Stangle said. “It’s the highest honor that the Indiana Sheriff’s Association can recognize. I feel grateful that I’m able to work in a community where people seem to like law enforcement.”

After receiving the award, Sergeant Stangle had the opportunity to have the night off and enjoy his night instead of working the midnight shift but he had other plans.

“He obviously dropped his wife off and came into work. Just receiving the highest award that a deputy sheriff can get in the state of Indiana,” Sheriff John Plasse said. “So what does Drew do? Does he want to celebrate? Does he want to sit back and reflect on what’s he’s done for his community. No, he wants to continue serving and protecting.”

Sergeant Stangle had no idea he was even nominated until he received the email from the Sheriff’s Association informing him he had won the award.

“When you nominate someone for an award you don’t know what’s going to happen because there’s a lot of deputies in Indiana and this is obviously the deputy sheriff of the year,” Sheriff Plasse said. “At the awards dinner there were some other deputies recognized that did some great things as well.”

Sergeant Stangle received his associates degree in law enforcement while earning his bachelors in homeland security and public safety from Vincennes University. He also has been taking martial arts for a decade. He believes all this preparation as well as his training earned him this award.

“There’s this quote that I always liked growing up. “I’m a great believer in luck and I find that the harder I work the more I have of it.” The way I look at it is, it’s just a by product of putting in hard work, training dedication to the job itself,” Sergeant Stangle said.

This marks the second consecutive year the Vigo County Sheriff’s Office has won this award.

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