From the SWAT Team to the Honor Guard to Safety Town, there aren’t many things that Officer Sanders hasn’t done on the force.
“Everybody always says I want to be a cop, I want to be a fireman,” said Sergeant Josh Sander. “I said I want to be a cop, it stuck…and then my dad let me watch Die Hard…yipeekaiyay.”
Like most things in life, Sergeant Sanders used humor to tell 7News about his inspiration to become a police officer, but despite the laughs he is one of the most well respected officers on the streets of Wheeling, “Being in East Wheeling, taking guns off of people, taking drugs off of people. You know I made a traffic stop yesterday and there were several subjects just sitting there, but I had to not only deal with who I had on a traffic stop but keep my eye on them,” Sanders said.
Sanders said he earned that respect by getting to know the community. You may recognize him as a bicycle officer or as your instructor for the Citizens Police Academy he’s on the SWAT Team, the Honor Guard, a crash re-constructionist and a Sergeant, but somehow he still finds time to ask everyone he sees how they’re doing even while he picks up a cup of coffee.
“Breaking the misconception of Robo-Cop a lot of people that’s what they see all the time, oh there’s another cop on a traffic stop, why is he so serious all the time look at him, I like to break that,” said Sanders.
The golden rule is his standard, but when it comes down to business fellow officers say he’s the guy you want by your side.
“I’m not going the extra mile, I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing because that’s what I think this job entails. I want to make Wheeling a great place you know if you would have asked me 15-20 years ago, when I was in high school or going through high school or when I had just moved to the Ohio Valley,” said Sanders.
A lover of music, a theater minor in college, air drumming on the wheel of his cruiser ,safely of course, he said everyday no matter how scared he is to put his life on the line, he wouldn’t have it any other way, “I’m just a guy who comes to work and tries to do his job,” Sanders said.
Sergeant Sanders doesn’t stop getting to know the community when he takes off his badge. He is known for being a familiar face at dozens of Wheeling community events, alongside his wife.