Lewis County Chief Deputy named Law Office of the Year

By DON O’BRIEN

Staff Writer | 217-221-3370 dobrien@whig.com | @DOBrienWHIGDeputy Chief Power

QUINCY — He might not have known everyone in the room, but Rob Power has worked with every agency that was represented at Friday’s 49th annual Quincy Exchange Club’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award luncheon.

“I’ve worked with everybody in this room,” Power said. “I trained some of the younger guys, and some of the older guys trained me. We’ve worked together, side by side.”

Power, a chief deputy with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department in Missouri, was honored as the club’s officer of the year. Lewis County Sheriff David Parrish said Power has been able to connect law enforcement agencies in Northeast Missouri and West-Central Illinois during his tenure in Lewis County.

“That communication hadn’t been there for a long time,” Parrish said.

Power, a Quincy native, spent 12 years with the Quincy Police Department, from 1987 to 1999, after serving in the U.S. Marines. Power was a patrol officer and worked in the detectives division before being assigned to the West Central Illinois Task Force. He worked for the Northeast Missouri Narcotics Task Force for a year before joining Parrish in Lewis County in February 2001.

Power’s experience in Illinois and Missouri helped knocked down some communication barriers that stood between different agencies.

“We have to work together. We can’t do it without the Illinois authorities working with us and vice versa,” Power said. “That river doesn’t stop the bad guys. It was just stopping us. Now we’re working together great. We talk with each other every day.”

Parrish said Power’s background as a drug enforcement officer has paid off a number of times. He cited a 2013 case where Power was able to get federal indictments against 11 people living in Northeast Missouri and West- Central Illinois who were involved in a methamphetamine manufacturing ring.

In nominating Power, Parrish said Power had been instrumental in getting a large number of drug manufactures and drug dealers off the streets.

Power was surprised to be given the award.

“This is all I ever wanted to do,” he told a crowd filled with law enforcement officials at Stoney Creek Inn. “I’m humbled.”

Power said his job hasn’t changed much over the years. Even though he’s in a small, rural department, he said the challenges are the same as they were when he worked in Quincy.

“We do the same work, but with a lot less resources,” he said.

Jenny HaydenPower was one of two people honored by the club. Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore introduced City Clerk Jenny Hayden as the Exchange Club’s Citizen of the Year. Hayden has worked in the clerk’s office for 26 years, the last 12 as city clerk. Hayden volunteers for a number of organizations, including the United Way of Adams County, Quincy Regional Crime Stoppers, Addicts Victorious, Sunset Home, the Quincy Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association and the Quincy Fire Department’s Rehabilitation Team.

Hayden said she was inspired by her foster mother to be so active in the community.

“She did things for other people and never gave it a second thought,” Hayden said. “I want to do what she did and lead by example.”