Thurston County Connection Newsletter
Thurston County Connection
Thurston County Connection
September, 2015
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Sheriff’s Awards Ceremonies

Public Works Employees Earn Honor


County Employees Step up to Charity Drive!

Food Waster or Food Warrior?

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 Sheriff’s Awards Ceremonies

Recognition and honors for employees and a citizen

Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza recently conducted ceremonies honoring people who have gone over and above. Among the honors were a Life Saving Award and a Citizen Commendation in the case of a house fire earlier this year.

On March 2, 2015, Yelm area resident Lee McGill rushed to the home of his neighbor on 123rd Ave SE in Yelm, which was fully engulfed in fire. Lee entered the home to save his longtime friend Vernon Horst. He broke the bedroom windows where he knew Mr. Horst might be and entered the home. He first located Mr. Horst’s unresponsive dog and threw it out the window. He then located Mr. Horst, lying near the bedroom doorway. He picked him up and carried him to the window where he was met by Thurston County Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Chatterton. He told Deputy Chatterton that the bedroom was filled with smoke and very hot and they didn’t have much time. He helped lift Mr. Horst out to Deputy Chatterton and then climbed out the window. Moments later the room erupted into flames. Thankfully, Mr. Horst survived his injuries. Mr. McGill’s selfless actions that night in entering the burning home clearly saved the life of his friend Mr. Horst. He was honored with a Citizens Commendation from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Chatterton was given the Sheriff’s Life Saving Award.

Years of service recognition- Sheriff’s Office employees were honored for long time service to the citizens of the county.

20 years

Corrections Deputy David Steinberg
Detective Ben Elkins
Captain Greg Elwin

25 years

Legal Assistance Supervisor Iva Montgomery

30 Years

Corrections Sergeant Bryan Hatchett


Lieutenant John Price was hired on in July of 1985 as a Corrections officer. In the years that followed he has received many honors and commendations. John received two Life Saving Awards in his career, the first in 1989 for saving a suicidal subject after he made a traffic stop and found the subject had put a knife into his chest. The second occurred on June 18, 1998 for another suicidal subject who was barricaded with a shotgun. John also received the Distinguished Service Commendation & Medal Award on March 27, 2007 for his actions trying to save a citizen by entering a fully engulfed house fire multiple time before fire personnel had arrived.

Sergeant Alvin Griffin began his service to the Sheriff’s Office as a Reserve Deputy in February of 1980. Among many honors and recognitions, he received commendations from the Lacey Police Chief for his efforts apprehending a murder suspect in 1996. He also received a commendation from Sheriff Gary Edwards for his handling of a dangerous suspect having a psychotic episode in July 2002.

Sergeant Griffin retires on June 30, 2015 with 33 years of dedicated service to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office and citizens of Thurston County.

Oath of office for new employees-

  • Citizen Volunteer Jim Roberts
  • Corrections Technician Haiden Darst
  • Legal Assistant Kari Knies
  • Corrections Deputy Mario Koziej
  • Deputy Sheriff Daniel Walwark
  • Deputy Sheriff Jordan Potis
  • Deputy Sheriff Per Perez
  • Deputy Sheriff Charlie Ault

      Promotion- Corrections Deputy Jenny Hovda was promoted to Sergeant.

By John Tennis

Sheriff Snaza and Lee McGill Sheriff Snaza and Lee McGill

Deputy Sean Chatterton. Deputy Sean Chatterton.