Thurston County Connection Newsletter
Thurston County Connection
Thurston County Connection
September, 2014
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This Month's Articles

Back-to-School Safety 101:

Hope for the Best…..Prepare for the Worst!

Telephone Alerts Available for Flooding Hazards

The War on Food Waste

Little Red School House Drive a Big Success!

A Herd of Folks at the Thurston County Fair

Making it in the Dry Years

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 Sheriff’s Office Recognition Ceremonies

Experienced and new employees honored

Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza recently recognized some long-time members of the office and welcomed several new employees to service.

Among those acknowledged were Detective Jamie Gallagher and Deputy Mike Stewart, for their six years of work on the Sheriff’s Office Riot Team. They joined the team in 2007 and were honored for their actions during numerous deployments and the positive light they gave to the Sheriff's Office.

Also receiving recognition were Sgt. Jeff DeHan, Sgt. Tim Rudloff, Deputy Ryan Russell, and Deputy Eugene DuPrey for their years of work with the Clandestine Methamphetamine Lab Team.

Over the last 13 years of dedicated commitment and service they have been directly responsible for the processing of hundreds of methamphetamine labs. The danger and overall risk factor involved with this type of assignment is well known to those in law enforcement. The safety of the Thurston County community has benefited tremendously from the near eradication of local methamphetamine production.

There were certainly many more Sheriff’s Office members who were also processing Methamphetamine labs during this time period, but each one of the original team members willingly continued with this specialty assignment, despite the risk and time commitment, until the team’s deactivation on this past April.

Certificate of Appreciation


A certificate was awarded to Corrections Deputy Avery Stegall for his work on the Cops vs. Firefighters Bowl for Kids’ Sake.

Corrections Deputy Stegall has been the “go to guy” in facilitating this fund-raising event for Big Brothers/Big Sisters for county employees. He has been an active participant and has rallied county teams as well as other local Law Enforcement and Firefighters to participate in this event. He is a master motivator and no one escapes his attention when it concerns this bowling tournament.

This in turn has encouraged others, especially his good friend Sonya Wilcox, to assist with the fundraising efforts. As a result Sonya alone raised over $10,600 for this worthy organization. The combined efforts of all teams that participated this year raised over $20,000!

Detective and Explorer Post Advisor Jamie Gallagher was recognized for 4.5 years of dedicated commitment and service as an advisor to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office Explorer Post. She did an exceptional job attending the explorer academies and teaching courses. She mentored many youth within the post during her time as an advisor.

Certificate of Commendation


Legal Assistant Jill Zimbelman was honored for her high degree of competence and professionalism in the performance of her duties as ACCESS coordinator for the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office for the past sixteen years. (ACCESS is the program under which the State Patrol grants qualified agencies permission to get criminal history records statewide and nationwide.) Jill has been responsible for making sure Sheriff’s employees were certified for ACCESS. This is a huge job that included research, tracking, and follow-up, and she did it without fail for sixteen consistent years. Congratulations for a job well done!!!

Years of Service Presentations


Years of service are awarded in five-year increments for Sheriff’s Office employees. Those who have been with the Sheriff’s Office for 20 years or more receive a framed certificate. Among those recognized this time were-
  • Gary Bailey – 20 Years
  • David E. Johnson – 25 Years
  • Walter L. “Tom” Thomason – 25 Years
  • Ann West – 30 Years


Ceremonial Swearing In


The oath of office was given to the following newly commissioned personnel:
  • Corrections Deputy Sandra Davis
  • Corrections Deputy Joshua North
  • Corrections Deputy Megan Fitzpatrick
  • Deputy Sheriff Mickey Hamilton III
  • Deputy Sheriff Robert Palecki


Introduction of new civilian employees


The following new Corrections Technicians were recognized.
  • Patrick Pounds
  • Barry Chapman
  • Shane Walker
  • Jonathan Smith
  • Melony Rogers


In the first photo, left to right- Undersheriff Tim Braniff, Dave Pearsall, newly sworn Deputies Robert Palecki and Mickey Hamilton, Brad Watkins and Sheriff John Snaza. In the second photo left to right- Tim Braniff, Todd Thoma, new Corrections Technicians: Patrick Pounds, Jonathan Smith, Melony Rogers, Shane Walker, and Barry Chapman and Sheriff Snaza.

By John Tennis

Newly sworn deputies take center stage. Newly sworn deputies take center stage.

New Corrections Technicians are introduced. New Corrections Technicians are introduced.