Given Patriot Award for work with department officer

 

IMLAY CITY — A representative of the Department of Defense was in Imlay City Thursday morning to honor an Imlay City police officer.

Sgt. Sean Leathers was caught off guard during the ceremony which was held to honor him for his work in staying in touch with a fellow officer from Imlay City’s department that is currently deployed at Guantanamo, Cuba.

Imlay City Police Department’s Sgt. Sean Leathers receives his Patriot pin from Paul DeSander, a Representative of the Department of Defense.

Glen Hill, a member of the Imlay City department who hails from Capac, has stayed in touch with the department through Sgt. Leathers and is looking forward to returning to the department, possibly sometime this year.

“Had I known about this earlier, I could have had something prepared to say,” Sgt. Leathers told members of the media.

Following the brief ceremony presentation held in the department’s foyer in front of fellow officers, city commission members and other city officials, Sgt. Leathers reflected on what the award meant to him.

“It’s very exciting. Quite an honor to receive this award,” Sgt. Leathers stated. “I am very humbled by this. It’s just a huge honor to be recognized. Like everyone else on the department, I would do anything for our officers who are also deployed serving our country.

Staff Sgt. Hill wrote a letter of recommendation, supporting Sgt. Leathers, to government officials who arranged for the award to be presented.

The honor ultimately was approved by the U.S. Pentagon and signed by the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin, III.

Paul DeSander, the region chairman for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) said the honor for Sgt. Leathers is just one of four that have been presented in the past year.

“What a thrill it is for me to make this presentation,’ DeSander told the small gathering at the police station.

He added, “Sgt. Leathers is to be commended for his work in communicating with Staff Sgt. Hill and keeping him up to date with department operations.”

ESGR is a Department of Defense agency that seeks to promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees.

Sgt. Leathers, who is in his 12th year of law enforcement work and who started his career with Imlay City in 2014, said, “I am just in shock,” while reflecting on the ceremony. He has also served on departments from Yale, Brown City and Metamora before hiring in at Imlay City.

“We have a great department here,” Sgt. Leathers pointed out. “We are looking forward to Glen being back with us, hopefully soon. I am hoping to plug him in to all the summer events we have to patrol. He is a great investigator and we plan to utilize those skills once he is back.”

Chief Brett Selby said of the second in command, “I am just over the moon happy for Sean. He deserves this award. He does so much for this department and he has done a fantastic job with communication. Especially with Glenn. Keeping him in tune with what is happening up here.”

Chief went on to add, “This (award) really comes as no surprise to me. Although, I’ve known about this since December 16, and it’s been tough to keep this a surprise for him.”

The Chief read a document that stated support of the Guard and Reserve.

“We recognize the Guard and Reserve are essential to the strength of our Nation and the well-being of our communities,” the document stated. It went on to state, “In the highest American tradition, the patriotic men and women of the Guard and Reserve serve voluntarily in an honorable and vital profession. They train to respond to their community and their country in a time of need.”

In signing the document, Chief Selby pledged the department’s support “will encourage opportunities to employ Guardsmen, Reservists, transitioning service members and Veterans.”

The Imlay City Police Department has 12 law enforcement officers on staff. Ten are full-time and two are part-time. They also have an office manager.