Sheriff, Deputies Deserve Praise

Encounters with police officers and deputy sheriffs are unpleasant for most people. Perhaps that is why we so often hear of officers and deputies going out of their way to do something nice.

It happened last weekend, when a Newell boy, 8-year-old Raymond James Ripley Jr., served as a Hancock County deputy sheriff for a day. It is something he has wanted to do since he was 5.

Sheriff Ralph Fletcher and his deputies heard about the boy’s wish, and that he suffers from a brain tumor. So, on Saturday, Fletcher swore in Ripley – designated “J1” while he was in uniform – and sent him out to work with Lt. J.T. Keeder.

As our story explained, J1 did more than ride around in a cruiser. He participated actively, right down to writing some traffic citations.

Lt. Chuck Stanley explained the activity was made possible by off-duty deputies and volunteers from the community.

Good for all involved! The sheriff and his deputies spent a substantial amount of time and energy doing something nice for a youngster – and they merit high praise for it.