Hometown heroes do more than the eye can see

Butler County Sheriff Marcus Siebken stands by his patrol car. Siebken has been working in law enforcement for 13 years.

Josie Cudaback

If I told you to think of a superhero, who would come to mind? Probably Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman, right? Of course, they are all fine choices, but some people would think differently. They would think of modern day heroes.  

Modern day heroes don’t have to wear capes, or fly to work, or even lift buildings. I’m talking about the heroes that often go unnoticed but make the biggest impacts in our lives. Think about the calm voice on the other end of the 911 phone line, or the person holding your hand in the ambulance telling you that it’s going to be okay, or the person performing CPR in order to save your loved one’s life.

Whether they realize it or not, our first responders at the Butler County Sheriff’s Office are modern day heroes. The police officers, dispatchers, and EMTs are always willing to risk their lives in order to better our community.

“My favorite part of this job is seeing people and speaking with people,” Sheriff Marcus Siebken said. “I love taking time to speak with kids in our schools.”

Thanks to law enforcement, we can live our lives safely and peacefully. We often overlook how much they do for us, and they will never truly be appreciated enough.

“There is no average day,” 10-year Law Enforcement Officer Shawn Gray said. “No two days are the same. We solve as many problems that come to attention; it’s not just writing tickets. We have to respond and be ready for any and all emergencies.”

Unfortunately, some see it another way and disrespect law enforcement personnel because of their career choice. Shootings, riots, and hate crimes directed at police are increasingly prominent. Several workers in law enforcement are being targeted and attacked, especially when they’re just trying to do their job.

“The best part of the job is going home alive and helping people,” 16-year Law Enforcement Officer William Drozd stated. “We’re getting career criminals (thieves, drug abusers, etc.) off the streets and into prison.”

It takes a lot more than strength, resilience, and vigor to work in law enforcement. Officers need wit and quick thinking; a call could mean life or death. Courage, bravery, and valor are all necessities, but most importantly, officers need heart.

“My least favorite part of this job is knowing that there is someone out there I can’t help. Knowing that it is too late for any assistance from me,” Siebken said.

Working in law enforcement also requires going beyond the line of duty and having obligations and responsibilities outside of the career path.

“I love being the one who can say to people/kids: I will help you, I will figure this out, I will get you what you need, I will be the one who you can call 24/7, and I will be the one who can and will be there for you,” 12-year Law Enforcement Officer Marla Schnell said.

Even though it’s a thankless profession, officers are rewarded with life-changing moments from time to time that become absolute highlights of their careers.

“There is not just one specific highlight of my career,” Gray said. “Just the times a person is at the worst point in their life, and I see the look on their face as law enforcement arrives. It’s the look of absolute relief, knowing that help is there.”

What first responders in our community should know is they do not go unnoticed, and everything they do for the community is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time, dedication, and allegiance.

Workers in law enforcement are people just like us, with one exception: they are willing to lay down their lives for us.