Four Chester County deputy sheriffs with diverse outside skills ranging from carpentry to music received promotions to corporal this week at a ceremony in the Chester County Justice Center.
Held in Courtroom One, the program included insight into the varied backgrounds of each of the deputies -- Frank DeJesse, Martin Lawson, Stanley McDaniel, and Matthew Jamie Mendenhall. The deputies were joined by friends and relatives as well as members of the office.
Chief Deputy Jason Suydam opened the ceremony with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by welcoming remarks from Sheriff Carolyn Bunny Welsh, and an invocation from the Rev. Floyd Wheeler, the office chaplain. Lt. Adam Sibley provided background on each of the four deputies.
“We’re extremely proud of the deputies who earned promotions,” said Chief Deputy Jason Suydam. “It is a very competitive process, and these candidates proved to have the outstanding qualifications needed for this position.”
DeJesse began working in the CCSO in November 2010. His extensive credentials include an associate degree in elementary education and a commercial driver’s license. He received his Act 120 certification from Delaware County Community College’s Police Academy, and he worked for the Collingdale Police Department from 1997 until 2004. He brings solid institutional knowledge to his new position, having worked for 22 years in law enforcement in Chester and Delaware Counties. He is also an accomplished carpenter, an avid golfer, hunter and bowler.
Lawson, who has amassed 21 years in law enforcement in Chester and Philadelphia Counties, came to the Sheriff’s Office in April 2015. His previous employment included work as a corrections officer at the Chester County Prison, where he served seven years as a corporal on the prison’s Internal Emergency Response Team, and police duties for the Westtown-East Goshen Police Department as well as the University of Pennsylvania force. Lawson, who is fluent in Spanish, earned a bachelor’s degree in security and management from the University of Phoenix; he also graduated from the Delaware County Community College’s Police Academy and the Elizabethtown Corrections Academy.
McDaniel followed a less traditional path to the CCSO, where he began working in January 2016. He earned a bachelor’s degree in theology from Geneva College followed by a master’s degree in pastoral leadership from Lancaster Bible College. A national registered critical care paramedic, he received his Act 120 certification from Delaware County Community College’s Police Academy. His former employers include the Chester County Youth Center, Life Line Transport and Allied Barton Security. He also served as a lieutenant with the Philadelphia Fire Department, where he was a member for 22 years.
Mendenhall, who is partnered with K-9 Nero, came to the CCSO in May 2017 from the Berks County Sheriff’s Office, where he had served as a captain with oversight over the fugitive warrants, domestic relations and K-9 units. He also supervised the Berks County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard. Mendenhall, who has certifications for first aid, CPR, active-shooter scenarios and K-9 decoy work, received his police training at Penn State University and the Reading Police Academy. Prior to joining the CCSO, Mendenhall, a singer-songwriter who’s been playing the acoustic guitar since the age of 5, was a regular performer at numerous music venues in the region as well as occasional stints in Nashville.
Photo: Caption: Chester County Sheriff Carolyn Bunny Welsh (from left), Cpl. Matthew Jamie Mendenhall, Cpl. Stanley McDaniel, Cpl. Martin Lawson, Cpl. Frank DeJesse and Chief Deputy Jason Suydam at the promotions ceremony.
To earn the promotions, the deputies had to provide documentation to support their levels of seniority, education, military and specialized training. In addition, they needed to excel in front of an oral interview board, which included supervisors from the Sheriff’s Office as well as another county law-enforcement agency.
“This is a very talented group,” said Chester County Sheriff Carolyn Bunny Welsh. “Each corporal brings varied experiences and skill sets to their new position. Collectively, they will provide outstanding leadership to those in their command.”