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‘A big step toward inclusion': Ky. sheriff’s office welcomes man with Down syndrome to the team

Jeff Rhinerson will support court security officers in upholding the safety and integrity of the Judicial Center in his role as a court security assistant

By Sarah Roebuck

OWENSBORO, Ky. — A Kentucky man is blazing a new trail in law enforcement as he was sworn in at the Daviess County Sheriff’s Office, the Owensboro Times reports.

Jeff Rhinerson, 45, was sworn in as the newest addition to the Daviess County Sheriff’s Office court security team on Dec. 15. Rhinerson, who has Down syndrome, will be part of the Judicial Security Unit at the Morton Holbrook Judicial Center in Owensboro. In his role as a court security assistant, he will support court security officers in upholding the safety and integrity of the Judicial Center.

“I am very excited to have Jeff join our court security team. Jeff has a passion for helping people and has always been interested in law enforcement,” Sheriff Brad Youngman told the Owensboro Times. “This is a great opportunity for both of us. Being able to partner with Puzzle Pieces in a manner that is unique to both of our agencies is very rewarding.”

Youngman stated that a significant portion of a court security assistant’s responsibilities are centered on customer service. This includes directing visitors to different offices and courtrooms and offering useful information about the court system.

Employment Opportunities, a nonprofit in Kentucky, worked with Rhinerson and the sheriff’s office to find a job that aligned with Rhinerson’s strengths and interests.

“This is a big step toward inclusion in our community with him being at the forefront of our Judicial System by working for the DCSO,” Kitty Jones, director of employment opportunities, told the Owensboro Times.