GREENVILLE — Greenville Senior High School Student Council has selected all Greenville graduates from the Greenville Police Department and the Darke County Sheriff’s Office to serve as alumni grand marshals of this year’s Homecoming parade, which will be held Thursday, Oct. 13.
“One of our students brought up the idea of having a police officer graduate from here to be the grand marshal because of events in the recent past,” said Carol Paul, student council adviser. “Then we investigated and found out we had several so we decided to honor all of them. It wasn’t fair to honor just one.”
So, that’s what they did, and came up with the plan to honor local law enforcement officers who are Greenville High School alumni.
Named grand marshals [and the year of their respective graduations] from the Greenville Police Department are:
Chief Dennis Butts, 1978
Sgt. Scott Drew, 1978
Sgt. Shannon McDaniel, 1986
Det. Eric Kiryluk, 1991
Officer Morrisa Reed, 1987
Officer Jennifer Freeman, 1996
Officer Mitchel Raffel, 1991
Named grand marshals from the Darke County Sheriff’s Office are:
Ron Beisner, 1975
Josh Brinley, 1993
Cindy Enicks, 1975
Kelly Erisman, 1988
Jason Gibbs, 2004
Dave Hawes, 1992
Steve Mills, 1991
Fred Roll, 1972
Tony Royer, 1991
Shawn Trissel, 1990
Mark Whittaker, 1985
Krysten Wilson, 2008
“It’s a great honor for them to honor us,” said Chief Dennis Butts. “It feels very good. It’s really great because the kids came up with the idea on their own.”
Butts joined the police department in 1986 and became chief in 2005.
Did he ever think he’d come this far in law enforcement?
“No, I really never had any aspirations to go that far,” he said.
He and Scott Drew met in sixth grade, were friends and graduated together before becoming co-workers in 1986.
In school, Butts said he was involved in auto shop, played on a vocational basketball league and was in band for awhile.
Drew is the one who joined the department first, however, as he was hired in 1983.
Drew was also involved with auto mechanics in school and wrestled his freshman and sophomore years.
“I was a mechanic, but was not happy with my job,” he said. “I started searching other career opportunities and someone suggested I join the police auxiliary and I did in 1981. When they tested for full-time officers, I took the test and was hired.”
He served as a detective in 1988 and 1989, but it was a short stint, because it wasn’t something he enjoyed doing.
“I always liked the road,” said Drew, who became road sergeant in 1995.
He, too, feels honored to be named a grand marshal.
“It’s a big honor…surprising,” Drew said. “Unfortunately, I was not available when the surprise was revealed. All officer/graduates had a picture taken [with some members of the student council] the day it was announced and everybody went to the city building.”
Chief Deputy Mark Whittaker remarked, “All of us [at the sheriff’s office] were extremely honored and surprised to be elected to serve as grand marshals of our alma mater.”
Whittaker, who has been with the sheriff’s office for 21 years, became chief deputy seven years ago.
“When I applied for the job at the sheriff’s department, they hired me and made me a road deputy,” he said. “I became detective in January 1998 and did that until 2009. I am honored to be chief. It is quite challenging and enjoyable.”
Whittaker said he was involved in academics, played drums in the band and was a member of several organizations while in high school.
“I’m kind of proud they’d choose us,” remarked Kelly Erisman, who has been at the sheriff’s office for 18 years.
A deputy, she transports inmates to where they need to go, a job she has been doing for 12 years.
She said when she was in high school, she never gave law enforcement a thought.
“I was in my late 20s when I decided to go into it,” said the former Kelly Enicks, who participated in band and track in her school days.
“What a complete surprise,” commented Dave Hawes about being named a grand marshal with his peers. “I’m very honored these children are looking up to us. Every day you see negative things in the news media, but that’s not like that for here and, for them to support us, I have hope for our future.”
Hawes started on the sheriff’s auxiliary in 2001 and became full-time in 2005 as a jailer. Later that year, he was chosen for the road patrol.
“I became an investigator in April 2010 and loved it,” he said. “I was promoted detective sergeant in May 2015.”
He added, “All I have ever wanted to be is a Darke County deputy I wanted to wear that black uniform and gold badge. I had a good foundation in school. I would probably not be here if it were not for the leadership and teachers I had. I started school in Gettysburg. I think all my teachers were excellent.”
Hawes said he was involved with Wavaires and theater while in high school and feels, “extracurricular activities give you confidence to work with people.”
“I feel it’s a privilege,” said Sgt. Tony Royer when asked how he feels about getting asked to be a grand marshal.
He has been with the sheriff’s office since November 1995 as a road deputy.
“I had a strong interest in law enforcement at an early age, 17 or 18,” said Royer, who was active in track and football in high school.
“I have not been around a whole lot, but it’s an honor to be asked to be in the parade,” said Deputy Jason Gibbs, who has been a corrections officer for five years. “I was in military police prior to this.”
In high school, he ran track and played soccer.
Officers of the Greenville High School student council this year are: President Justin Brown, Co-Vice Presidents Taylor Ward and Justin McMiller, Secretary and Student Alumni Chairman Lessie Cable, Treasurer Rachel Hickerson and Reporter Molly Hunt.
Additional members of the student council are: Seniors — Heidi Brickler, Victoria Landis, Kyle Phillips, Meg Rehmert, Josh Smith and Logan Tabler; juniors — Landin Brown, Lauren Bruns, Alex Chui, Grace Coakley, Will Coomer, Addy Frens, Matthew Hounshell, Zach Massie, Owen Paulus, Braden Russell and Maddie Shepard; sophomores — Kinzie Clark, Chloe Cox, Jada Garland, Ashley Jolley, Simeon King, Micah Light, Mariah Nicholas, Jessica Peters, Eli Quelhorst, Dylan Snyder, Danny Suter, Noah Walker and Colton Zumbrun; and freshmen — Sarah Abell, Morgan Gilbert, Adeline Haupt, Riley Hunt, Kelli Krestchmar, Jessica Mortensen, Amanda Chui, Hope Schaaf and Courtney Bryson.
This writer may be reached at 937-569-4315. Follow her on Facebook and join the conversation and get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU