Lifestyle & Human Interest

Veteran Turned Police Deputy Surprised with Decorated Patrol Car in Honor of 18 Years of Service


When Deputy Ryan West noticed his patrol car’s decals were looking a little faded, he requested that they be replaced. They were replaced — but perhaps not in the way West was expecting.

Instead of the familiar black-and-white details, the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office in Frankfort, Indiana, decided to do one better and pay homage to West’s roots.

West hasn’t always been a deputy. Before he joined his fellow law enforcement officers in Clinton County, he was a Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 2.

He served for nearly two decades until he suffered an injury that put him out of commission — but he wasn’t done serving just yet, which is why he later joined the CCSO.

To recognize and honor his time in the armed forces, Sheriff Rich Kelly decided to get a custom wrap from Graphics Guardian that was a nod to West’s military background.

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The best part? It was all a surprise.

“Today, Clinton County Sheriff Rich Kelly presented a Sheriff’s Deputy with a special tribute for his service to our Country,” the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office posted on Aug. 22.

“Deputy Ryan West is a retired Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 2, who served 18 years before being forced to medically retire due to injuries sustained during a training exercise.”

“In true Marine fashion, Deputy West requested his vehicle get new decals, as the current ones were tattered and worn, as he prepares to attend the Academy for Training.”

“This vehicle not only serves as a tribute to our community’s service men and women, but it is also a recruiting tool to bring prospective employees into our community.”

Photos posted on the sheriff’s office Facebook page show a sleek patrol car proudly displaying West’s past. He was presented with his spiffy new set of wheels, and the whole thing was caught on drone video.

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“We are honored to employ veterans,” the post by Sheriff Kelly continued. “We have three merit deputies who are former United States Marines: Sergeant Joey Mitchell, Deputy Dennis Tillman and Deputy Ryan West.”

“Without our veterans, we couldn’t enjoy the freedoms that are afforded to us by their service and I am honored to work beside these fine men every day.”

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