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New deputies help sheriff patrols

SWEARING IN: Corey Phillipy, Devin Bechtold and Justin Crousore recite their oath as they are sworn in as deputies to the Wabash County Sheriff’s Department at the Wabash County Judicial Center on Monday.

by ANDREW CHRISTMAN - achristman@wabashplaindealer.com

The Wabash County Sheriff’s Department raised its staff to a new high Monday with the swearing in of three new deputies.

Chief Deputy Tyler Guenin said hiring deputies Corey Phillipy, Justin Crousore and Devin Bechtold is an exciting time for the department. The staff will soon reach 20 officers, as one additional deputy is expected to join the department by January.

The department has been working with limited resources for years, with only 16 officers at full staff. That makes it difficult to patrol the entire county. But county officials recently agreed to hire additional officers. Guenin told the Plain Dealer Monday that he believes this is a step in the right direction to improve service across the county.

“We’re not really going to know what to do with ourselves after this,” Guenin said. “Moving forward, we’re hoping for nothing but positives for the department and the county.”

Guenin said a larger staff will help in other ways too. For example, administrative officers will have more time to focus on efforts to fight opioid abuse.

The new deputies all said joining the force was something they’ve wanted to do for some time.

Corey Phillipy, for example, said he’s wanted to become a police officer since he was a teenager. This will be Phillipy’s first time working as a law enforcement officer.

Justin Crousore also dreamed of becoming a police officer when he was a child. He brings 11 years of experience working for the Department of Corrections to the Wabash County Sheriff’s Department.

And Devin Bechtold is transferring from the North Manchester Police Department after about two years.