MOUNT GILEAD — Morrow County Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Delanis had a busy — but satisfying — week.
On Wednesday, Nov. 17, Delanis and fellow Deputy Eric Collins were presented with the Distinguished Service Award from the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association. The next day Delanis was given the Crisis Intervention Training Officer of the Year award during the annual meeting of the Delaware-Morrow Mental Health & Recovery Services Board at the Brown Township Hall in Kilbourne.
“It’s an honor and a privilege serving Morrow County. Sheriff (John) Hinton and Chief Deputy (Troy) Landon are great bosses to work for,” Delanis said.
Delanis joined the department in April 2017 after graduating from the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy.
The CIT Officer of the year is given because the mental health board “values our law enforcement partners. Our collaboration goes hand in hand,” said Executive Director Deanna Brant.
Delanis was presented the award by Rhianna Mattix, Associate Director.
“Deputy Delanis was able to defuse a situation and keep everyone safe. He embodies that completely,” Mattix said.
He said he tries to come in every shift and do his job.
“One thing I try to made a point of emphasis in any situation that I’m in is however I’m trying to communicate something to somebody, I try to think how are they going to receive this.”
As behavioral health comes to the forefront, officers’ involvement with residents is crucial.
“Whether it’s a small resolution or major bad news … how can I deliver this in a way that I respect where that person might be coming from.”
Delanis grew up in Chesterland in Geauga County, and attended the academy in 2015-2016 before being an auxiliary officer in Harrisburg for a year.
“Truth be told, I’ve told people I don’t think I’m anything special.”
Landon said in the last month and a half he’s received calls from grateful residents.
“A lot of times on third shift you have to be proactive as opposed to being reactive. I’m thankful I get those phone calls that on house checks he’s actually getting out of his car and doing checks as we expect him to do. During the night, our guys are out there doing what they are supposed to be doing.”
Hinton said his goal is pride in the department.
“We want Morrow County to be proud of the Sheriff’s Office and proud of deputies like Joe Delanis. With Joe and Eric getting awards this week, it goes to prove that we have something to be proud of when deputies like them come in every day and they do their job,” he said.
Delanis said it is a pleasure to serve local citizens.
“Unlike a lot of folks here, I didn’t grow up here. I live here now and my neighbors are supportive,” he said.
“One of them dropped off a plate of food. That’s the kind of treatment I know I wouldn’t get someplace else.”
Dr. Phil Atkins, Executive Director of Mental Health and Recovery Board in Union County, was guest speaker.
“Kids are suffering. It’s difficult to be a kid today,” Atkins said. “Depression has increased. We must engage the family and give support and services that they need.”
Brant said the passage of the levy Nov. 2 helps continue those services.
“We are relieved. The new money begins in 2023 and allows us to fund the existing network of care,” she said.
It marks the agency’s first tax increase since 1984.
“We will usher in a new era of behavioral health and be the light in our communities,” Brant said. “We deal in hope.”