The People's Tribune

Teague Named Audrain County Deputy Sheriff of the Year

Deputy Teague is pictured with his Division Commander, Captain Steve Kennemore (far R) standing next to Audrain County Jailer of the Year, Sergeant Kim Brink, along with her Division Commander, Captain Tim Tanner (far L).
Photo courtesy of The Audrain County Sheriff’s Department

A Vandalia native received recognition last week when Audrain County Sheriff, Matt Oller, announced the 2020 Audrain County Deputy of the Year.

None other than 2012 Van-Far graduate, Deputy Ryan Teague was named the recipient of the annual award.

According to Sheriff Oller, the announcement would typically be made mid-December at an annual awards banquet. However, like so many other events this year, COVID prevented the awards ceremony from happening.

Each year they award a Deputy and a Jailer of the Year award.

“This is the first time I’ve received this award,” Deputy Teague told the Tribune. “I was very surprised to have received it.”

For his part, Sheriff Oller doesn’t take part in the selection process for the awards.

Instead, the awards are decided by the department’s four division commanders (Jail, Administration, Patrol, and Court Services). The commanders often meet more than once when deciding who will take the yearly awards. The criteria are based on overall performance.

“Ryan apparently left good impressions, not only in his own Division but in the others as well,” Sheriff Oller said.

“Due to the way Missouri law is written,” Sheriff Oller explained in a social media post. “Government agencies can’t do such things [give awards to selected employees] for their staff. That’s where our community partners are outstanding and go the distance for us.”

The annual dinner along with the awards given are completely funded through donations.

“I’ve always had an interest in law enforcement since I was little,” Teague explained. That interest got him off to an early start with the Audrain Sheriff’s Department.

“Ryan has been affiliated with our office since his high school years when he was a member of our cadet program,” Sheriff Oller told the Tribune. “In 2014, when he turned 20, he applied to work for us full time and was a member of our jail staff as a corrections officer. Ryan worked hard, and in 2017, he attended the academy at the University of Missouri, graduating in April of 2017.

Deputy Teague was shortly transferred to the department’s Patrol Division.

“Ryan has come a very long way in his time with us,” Sheriff Oller continued. “He is always on his ‘A Game’ and works hard.”

In fact, according to Oller, Teague has become a deputy that needs little direct supervision and is well versed in statutory and constitutional law and policy and procedure.

“Most people expect I could say that Ryan received this award because he made ‘that one case,’” Sheriff Oller continued. “But alas, the reason is far better than being a ‘one-hit wonder’. Ryan is just, plainly put, an all-around solid and consistent deputy sheriff that works hard and does well with all types of calls and cases.”

“Even though I’ve been doing this career for a bit, the laws are always changing, and keeping up with the changes can be a challenge at times,” Deputy Teague added. “But I find it rewarding when I can make difference in someone’s life.”

Teague was presented with a plaque along with a Glock M48 pistol in appreciation for his hard work and dedication.

For those interested in following a similar career, Deputy Teague offers this bit of advice.

“If you are looking to pursue a career in law enforcement, I would suggest contacting a nearby agency and scheduling a ride along with them to get a firsthand experience.”

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