UNION — When Sheriff David Taylor took office in 2009, he introduced end-of-the-year awards to recognize employees who have exemplified service beyond the call of duty and excelled in their respective roles.
“We’re fortunate that we’ve got good people and they need to be recognized for their accomplishments,” Taylor said.
Taylor said the awards are based on attendance, attitude and service, and individuals are decided upon by administrative staff and their immediate supervisors.
Jail Officer of the Year: David Eaves
The Jail Officer of the Year award was presented to David Eaves, who began working with the department in July 2010.
Eaves worked in sales until he was laid off earlier in 2010 due to the downturn of the national economy, so when he saw an available position as a jail officer for Union County, he applied.
That was not Eaves’ first experience with law enforcement, however.
“I had been a reserve officer back in the 80s, so I thought it would be something I would like to do,” Eaves said.
During his time as a reserve officer, Eaves never imagined that one of the men with whom he worked in the program would hire him years later. The man was current Union County Sheriff David Taylor.
“I worked the reserve program with (Eaves) when William Jolly was sheriff,” Taylor said. “I enjoyed working with him then, and even more so now.”
Eaves said he enjoys fingerprinting and intake process, as well as working with the inmates on a daily basis. He said he tries to be helpful to them, getting them what they need — such as sharpened pencils or new sheets and blankets — as soon as possible.
“When they ask for something, I try to get it back there to them as soon as possible instead of letting them go hours before they get it,” Eaves said.
Union County Jail Division employees are split up into 12-hour shifts, and Eaves works on the “D Shift.”
“We all work real good together,” he said, praising supervisors Sgt. Melinda Haney and PFC Debbie Morris. “We don’t have any problems with the shift at all.”
Taylor said he is proud for Eaves to represent the Union County Jail Division.
“He represents us in a positive light,” Taylor said. “I’ve never heard anyone say negative things about him.”
Eaves said he thoroughly enjoys the job.
“I’m gonna stay here until I retire, or until they fire me,” he joked.
Staff Writer Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 29, or by email at email@example.com.