MASON COUNTY — The Point Pleasant Rotary Club recently presented Sgt. Jeffery Sweeney with the 2020 Mason County Officer of the Year Award.
Sweeney is with the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), where he oversees and supervises the other county officers in Mason, Putnam and Kanawha Counties. He was promoted to the position in October 2017 after serving for 32 years as the Mason County DNR Officer, according to the nomination form submitted by Capt. Terry A. Ballard.
The Rotary honors an officer from Mason County each year, according to Rotary member Tim Martin. The organization opens the award up to officers from all police departments in the county, the sheriff’s department, state police and DNR.
“The entire reason we do this is to just show appreciation to all our law enforcement of what they do for us and keeping the community safe,” Martin said.
In Sweeney’s nomination form, many previous and current roles were listed, including being a DNR driving instructor, an Advanced Boat Collision Investigator and Reconstructionist, a background investigator, a certified instructor and a field training officer, and one of the first volunteer chaplains for the department.
Ballard wrote in the nomination form that Sweeney has been nominated for many awards in his career — including the District 5 Nominee for the State Officer of the Year (1993), Western Region Officer of the Year Nominee (1997), District 5 Officer of the Year Nominee (2003) and was chosen as the State Representative for Officer of the Year, recognized with a Distinguished Service Award by the U.S. Attorney Southern District of WV (2014), District 5 Boating Officer of the Year Nominee (2016), and District 5 Sharp Spur Award Nominee (2017).
“Jeff has been a huge supporter of the Mason County Law Enforcement program and it is our honor to recognize him for his service to help keep Mason County safe,” Martin said in an email to the Register.
In a typical year, Rotary holds a banquet to honor all law enforcement officers.
“I’m really happy that we continue to do this tradition,” Martin said. “This was our eighth annual Officer of the Year Award and we look forward to, hopefully next year, getting back to the banquet and to where we can make sure we honor all the officers.”
Sweeney was presented with the award at the Mason County Courthouse by Rotary President Leigh Ann Shepard. A traveling trophy will be displayed at the DNR Headquarters and a check for $500 will be presented as well, according to Martin.
Information provided by the Point Pleasant Rotary Club.
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Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.