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The Special Deputy of the Year award Nomination Selection Committee, comprised of Reserve Lieutenants Andrew Ward and Johnie Blanchett and Reserve Sergeants Mike Kempin and Nick Ulrich have selected Reserve Sergeant Brian Stallman as the 2020 Special Deputy of the Year. Reserve Sgt. Stallman was nominated for this recognition by Sergeant Jim Gales.
This award recognizes a specific special deputy sheriff, regardless of rank, who went above and beyond the call of duty in serving the Sheriff’s Office and the citizens of Linn County during the preceding year. The Special Deputy of the Year award consists of a plaque given to the recipient and his/her name appears on the multi-year plaque in the first floor lobby display case at the Sheriff’s Office.
In his nomination, Sgt. Gales acknowledged that Stallman has been an active member of our reserve program for over four years. Since becoming a special deputy, he has been very active and instrumental in the success of the program. From the onset when he was initially selected to participate in the program, Stallman organized a study group where he and all of the other new special deputy applicants could get together to review and discuss the materials from their last training module prior to testing. This was instrumental in all of applicants learning and understanding the material prior to testing.
With the reorganization of the reserve program in 2017 following the retirement of the longtime unit commander, the reserves where asked who they thought should make up the leadership of the organization. Although this was not the sole criteria for determining promotions, this gave insight into how the members of the organization felt about the leadership ability of their peers and Stallman was highly recommended for a leadership role. This information, combined with his previous actions and his dedication to the program resulted in his promotion to reserve sergeant.
As a reserve sergeant, Stallman is responsible for the supervision of one of the three reserve squadrons. His particular squad was initially comprised a several new members who needed to complete the reserve module training before being certified. Due to Stallman’s somewhat recent familiarity with the process, he was selected to oversee their training and the results were extremely successful. Stallman was also instrumental in the formation of the Linn County Special Deputy Honor Guard, which works collectively with the Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard in both training and formal activities.
The Sheriff’s Office Reserve Officer Program is not the only volunteer program in which Stallman is involved. He is also a 30-year volunteer firefighter with the Fairfax Fire Department and currently serves as one of the department’s Assistant Chiefs. It is apparent that the knowledge and experience that he has acquired from this large volunteer organization has helped him in successfully functioning as a leader within our program.
Even though the August derecho struck Stallman’s family and their livelihood with devastating results, rather than asking to be removed from his Special Deputy duties and oversight and training responsibilities, Stallman continued to attend the training sessions, kept up to date with the those reserve applicants who still needed module tests completed, and assisted in getting the reserve applicants through the required steps to receive their state reserve officer certification to become Linn County Special Deputy Sheriffs. Stallman’s actions during his difficult personal tragedy and his continued dedication to his voluntary duties with both this agency and the Fairfax Fire Department go well above and beyond the scope of what we ask of our special deputies.
In forwarding the nomination selection committee’s recommendation to Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner, Reserve Captain John Gahring noted, “Reading the recommendation for Brian seems like old news because he is just so consistent and rock solid in his leadership. I believe Brian has set the bar very high and is making a tremendous impact on the future of our unit during a really tough year.”
Thank you to those Sheriff’s Office employees who submitted names for Special Deputy of the Year consideration and those employees who volunteered to serve on the Nomination Selection Committee. And congratulations to all reserves who were nominated for the Special Deputy of the Year award, but were ultimately not selected for 2020. These special deputies will receive separate recognition from Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner.