05/03/09 — Sherman named jailer of the year

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Sherman named jailer of the year

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on May 3, 2009 2:00 AM

Mary Sherman was working part-time at O'Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center when someone suggested she try a new line of work.

The job was as a detention officer at the Wayne County Jail, which she knew would mean a major change in her life.

Ms. Sherman wound up loving the job, and this year was honored as the Wayne County Sheriff's Office Detention Officer of the Year. She was selected from a pool of 11 nominees.

Detention Center Capt. James Tadlock and Capt. F.S. Greenfield said the job of a detention center employee often goes unnoticed by the public.

Police officers like the Sheriff's Office deputies often get praise from the public when they recover stolen property or capture potentially dangerous criminals.

Not so much for detention officers, Tadlock said.

"When you work in the jail, people don't thank you for locking their son or daughter up," the captain said. "The detention center forces are not going to get a thank you from anybody."

Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders said his office has been recognizing a detention officer of the year for five years now.

Winders said in release that the awarded individual is recognized for an "outstanding job, and is selected by their peers and co-workers. Officer Sherman is well deserving of this honor," the sheriff said.

Ms. Sherman, who started her job in December of 2000, started her career in the jail by monitoring the inmates on the floor twice and hour.

Then, she got trained in booking. After that, she began learning anything she could from her fellow jailers, Ms. Sherman said.

"I noticed everybody was fingerprinting," the jailer said. "So I jumped up there and trained how to fingerprint. I just watch over the people who are over me and see what they're doing, and try to learn it."

As for the philosophy she's developed, Ms. Sherman, like all detention officers refrains from discussing matters related to the charges filed against the jailed defendants.

"We don't discuss why they're here," Tadlock said. "You do listen to their complaints, but we don't want to talk about the cases."