Sheriff’s department employees of the year recognized

The St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department held a ceremony Thursday to recognize its employees of the year – one from road patrol, the other from its correctional division.

Undersheriff Jason Bingaman said deputy of the year is Kevin Penn.

Penn is a member of the Uniformed Services Division and assigned to general county patrol. He has been with the agency since 2017.

In January 2021, he investigated an incident that began as a routine suspicious complaint and evolved into a federal investigation and conviction of a Grand Rapids man for attempted sex trafficking of minors and enticement of minors.

Correctional division deputy of the year is Martin Mullendore.

Mullendore is a member of the Correctional Division and assigned to security at the St. Joseph County Courthouse.  He has been employed by the department since 2002.

Bingaman said Mullendore has served the community with compassion and hard work throughout his career.

To be eligible for employee of the year, recipients must be nominated and receive employee of the month at least one time throughout the 12-month calendar.

The employee of the year is chosen by a consensus of staff and not by sheriff’s office administration. Each year, a deputy from each of the divisions is chosen.

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