Shane Hirschman, a probation and parole officer 2, noticed an increased number of violent incidents where the offenders had used legally purchased, synthetic drugs before the altercation.
He took charge of educating staff and the Nevada community about the new problem. He created the Synthetic Drug Task Force for the Vernon County area.
As a result, local retailers were asked and agreed to remove all synthetic drugs from their shelves.
Hirschman then brought additional training to his area for those involved with the criminal justice system. Presentations by the St. Joseph Police Department included identification, dangers and use and effects.
Now, education is planned for the community and school system.
"Hirschman is a dedicated professional," said Tim Whoff, a field services administrator who nominated him.
Whoff has received several letters praising Hirschman's initiative and community involvement.
"These successes are a testament to Hirschman's commitment to public safety and highest ideals of service to the community," the police chief wrote. "His actions have significantly raised the bar for law enforcement and are commendable.
"He brings credit to himself and to the highest traditions of the probation and parole office."
The State Employee of the Month is selected by the State Employee of the Month Selection Committee from among nominations submitted by the 16 state departments and some elected offices. The six committee members also are members of the State Training Advisory Council.