The work of deputies behind the scenes to protect the public can sometimes go unnoticed. Avoiding that outcome was the impetus for the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of Pennsylvania (DSAP) Businesses Backing Blue program, designed to reward deputies for exemplary service.
On Monday, July 9, 2018, Deputy Collin Meisenhelter became the first Chester County beneficiary of the DSAP program. Meisenhelter received a gift certificate to P.J. Whelihan’s Pub and Restaurant, a plaque, and temporary ownership of a large serpentine rock. The special specimen – native to Chester County – is mounted on a base that says: You rock! Chester County Sheriff’s Office Employee Recognition Award.
Cpl. Brad DeSando explained that Meisenhelter conducts dozens of tours of the Justice Center and historic courthouse each year, groups that range from adults to kids. “I get constant compliments on the tours that he does,” DeSando said.
Chester County Sheriff Carolyn Bunny Welsh said she was delighted to participate in a program that rewards deputies who go above and beyond. She said she has received much positive feedback from citizens about Meisenhelter’s tours. Referencing the “traveling rock,” Welsh explained that Meisenhelter would keep it until the next recognition ceremony, at which point it would go to the new recipient.
“It’s always gratifying to recognize the work of the deputies, especially when they serve as such exemplary ambassadors of the CCSO,” the Sheriff said.
The idea for the award began after discussions surfaced in Chester County about an employee incentive program. Chester County Lt. Harry McKinney, who also serves as DSAP president, said he thought the concept had merit and expanded into a statewide initiative.