Sgt. Shannon Jeffries of the Callaway County Sheriff's Office, who coordinates the Central Missouri MUSTANG narcotics task force, got a surprise when he and Callaway County Sheriff Dennis Crane attended an annual statewide law enforcement meeting last Thursday in Springfield.
During the event, a county law enforcement officer is honored by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Kansas City with the Enoch B. Morelock Award.
"Sheriff Crane did a number on me during that event," Jeffries said. "He didn't tell me I was to be the person receiving the award. He just said we were going to the training seminar in Springfield."
U.S. Attorney Tammy Dickinson announced Jeffries was honored both for his work for many years with the MUSTANG drug task force in Central Missouri and for his many hours of volunteer work in the communities he serves.
Jeffries is coordinator of the Mid-Missouri Unified Strike Team and Narcotics Group (MUSTANG), a task force of Central Missouri law enforcement officers specializing in narcotics investigations.
The unit includes police officers from Fulton, Jefferson City, Columbia and Boonville and deputies from sheriff's departments in Callaway, Cole and Boone counties as well as officers from the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
The statewide law enforcement award was presented Aug. 15 in Springfield to Jeffries at the annual seminar of the Law Enforcement Community Coordination Unit. Dickinson said the award is named in honor of Sullivan County Sheriff Enoch B. Morelock, who was the first recorded line-of-duty death in the Western District of Missouri on Dec. 19, 1847.
For the last three years, Jeffries has been the lead coordinator of drug investigations in Central Missouri. He has served as a narcotics officer for 12 years and as a sergeant and investigator for 17 years with the Callaway County Sheriff's Office.
Jeffries also serves as the Certified Firearms Instructor and Certified Active Shooter Instructor for the Sheriff's Office.
On Tuesday, Jeffries was in New Bloomfield participating in an exercise for teachers and administrators. He and New Bloomfield Police Chief Chris Hammann assumed the role of armed intruders during the training exercise.
"I enjoy helping people, whether it is through community service or through my work in law enforcement," Jeffries said.
Jeffries makes presentations to schools and to other law enforcement agencies to help them learn more about problems associated with illegal drug traffic and public safety.
"Law enforcement is like a family business with me" Jeffries said. "It's no accident I was interested in it from the start. My dad was a police officer with the Jefferson City Police Department."