Tim Reitzel, Janelle Phillips take home top awards at Davison County Sheriff's Office annual ceremony

“We had a ton of nominations this year for all the awards,” Davison County Sheriff Steve Harr said of all the employee nominations.

Tim Reitzel, right, and Steve Harr, speak on Jan. 7 during the Davison County Sheriff's Office awards ceremony in Mitchell.
Sam Fosness / Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL — To build camaraderie and recognize law enforcement officials who have gone above and beyond in their roles, the Davison County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its annual award ceremony.

In early January, officials with the Davison County Sheriff’s Office gathered in Mitchell to honor the 2022 award recipients.

Davison County Chief Deputy Tim Reitzel was named the 2022 Deputy Sheriff of the Year. Davison County Sheriff Steve Harr dubbed Reitzel as a deputy who is “always respectful, honest” and has “a ton of integrity.”

“Anybody can go to this person with questions, and he will do his best to always answer them. He gives great advice on how to do certain jobs. He goes out of his way to make everyone's life easier,” Harr said. “He’s had a lot thrown at him.”

Tim Reitzel.jpg
Tim Reitzel, left, and The Honorable Patrick Smith, right, shake hands and pose for a photo after Reitzel is sworn in as Davison County's newest chief deputy at the Davison County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021.
Republic file photo

While he’s only a little over a year into his role as the chief deputy, Reitzel’s abilities have stood out among officials with the Davison County Sheriff's Office. One of the employee nominations dubbed Reitzel as a “rockstar.”


Prior to being sworn in as the chief deputy sheriff in 2021, Reitzel was a correctional officer at the Davison County jail, which he pointed to as an experience that prepared him to become a leader of the deputies.

Janelle Phillips was honored with the 2022 Corrections Officer of the Year. Phillips has been an integral part of the Davison County jail for nearly three decades.

Harr described Phillips, who has been on the job for 27 years, as a correctional officer that performs “a lot of work most of us don’t see.”

“This person is very deserving of this award and received more nominations than anyone else. This person does a lot of work that most of us don't see and makes our lives easier. She’s always in a good mood,” Harr said of Phillips.

The awards that were presented during the ceremony were made with the help of employee nominations, which Harr said showed how much appreciation the team has for one another.

“We had a ton of nominations this year for all the awards,” Harr said.

A few years ago, Harr said the awards ceremony went on a hiatus for a brief period of time. As the new sheriff leading the local law enforcement agency, Harr said he plans to make the event an annual staple.

“This is such a good way to build more comradery and get all of the departments together,” Harr said. “Building those relationships between everyone will make our whole team better across the board.”

Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
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