Sgt. named county employee of the year

Tulare County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Kevin Kemmerling had a busy year in 2012. He played an important role in the County’s eradication efforts of illegal marijuana grow sites and helped launch an education campaign to prevent people from drowning.

These examples are just a couple of reasons why the Board of Supervisors announced Tuesday that Sgt. Kemmerling is the 2012 Tulare County Employee of the Year.

Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Pete Vander Poel said more than 130 County of Tulare employees were nominated from 18 different departments.

“There are thousands of County employees who are passionate about their jobs and duties, however, only one can be selected each year,” Chairman Vander Poel said. “The thing that separated Kevin from all of the others is his exceptional willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty. I commend Kevin and all other nominees for making a difference and bringing extraordinary efforts to work day-in and day-out.”

Sheriff Bill Wittman offered praise to Sgt. Kemmerling prior to his acceptance of the 2012 Employee of the Year plaque.

“When we talk about Kevin, we talk about his can do attitude, his hard work, his loyalty, and his commitment to the people in this community,” Sheriff Witman said while addressing the Board of Supervisors. “The people around him look up to him, they depend on him, and he is quick to go out day and night and help folks. That’s why he is our employee of the year.”

Sgt. Kemmerling became a volunteer for the Sheriff*s Search and Rescue team and provided his assistance as an EMT from 1999 through 2004. At that time, he decided to attend the police academy and apply for a sworn position with the Sheriff*s Office. He was hired by the Sheriff in October of 2004 and began working at the Men’s Correctional Facility.

In February of 2006, he became the Springville Resident Deputy then moved to the Sheriff*s Tactical Enforcement Personnel Team in July of

2008. In March 2010, Kemmerling was promoted to Sergeant and has been assigned to the Porterville Patrol Division since.

Sgt. Kemmerling has specialized training and assignments as the SWAT team leader, Dive team, Rope Rescue, Armorer/Gunsmith, Tactical Repelling Instructor, Aerial Observation, Rifle and Quad (ATV) certifications. All of these attributes helped the County in 2012.

For example, Sgt. Kemmerling was able to lead and effectively complete the investigations, prepare search warrants, and collect information relating to illegal marijuana grow sites.

In addition, Sgt. Kemmerling took the lead to develop an approved course and helped train multiple law enforcement agencies on how to utilize and properly deploy throw bags to drowning victims. The throw

bag training has increased the likelihood to rescue the life of a person on the river versus the recovery of a body. Sgt. Kemmerling also developed a water safety handout that was distributed to campsites within Tulare County during holiday weekends.

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