With nearly a decade on the Polk County (Iowa) Sheriff’s Office, Sergeant Ryan Phillips has been able to combine his academic training with field experience.
Phillips joined the force after graduating from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice
“Currently being a sergeant I enjoy getting to take more of a leadership role within the department,” he said in a question-and-answer session posted on the department’s Facebook page. “With this responsibility I also get to mentor new and younger deputies who are the future of our department.”
Now on the first watch patrol midnight shift, Phillips said a highlight of his work was serving as a K-9 handler. He now oversees the department’s K-9 program. His canine partner was named Hanzo, who chased suspects and helped sniff out a package containing meth hidden in a stuffed animal before he was retired from duty.
“The case led to the removal of more drugs, locating several stolen weapons/vehicles and arresting several individuals involved in ongoing criminal activity,” Phillips recalled. “It gave me a great sense of pride and accomplishment to have a great K9 partner, and was nice to see all that training pay off.”
A member of the Za-Ga-Zig Shrine, raising funds for disabled children, Phillips is also an avid golfer and New York Yankees baseball fan.
Although Grimes lacks its own police department, it benefits from coverage by the larger, Polk County police force.
“I believe that the city of Grimes can benefit by receiving the numerous resources that PCSO has at its disposal as a larger-size department,” Phillips said. “Grimes can utilize all these resources while still maintaining a personable small-town feel with its officers and community, which is a large draw for many families.”