Wheeling officer ‘first police officer’ to receive statewide award


In a job that can be thankless, one Wheeling Police officer is receiving a huge honor.

Sergeant Josh Sanders is the first ever police officer receiving the statewide Generation Next 40 Under 40 award.

Everyday, Sgt. Josh Sanders steps out of this cruiser, and protects the people in Wheeling, but he says that doesn’t make him special, he’s just answering the call.

“When you finally get to do what you’ve wanted to do your entire life, you’re going to wear all the hats,” said Sgt. Sanders.

For Sgt. Sanders, those hats include the SWAT Team, honor guard, bike patrol, crash reconstruction, running the citizens police academy and being involved with police volunteers.

“Because that’s what our badge is all about, is, working with the public, because that’s who we’re here to work for.”

Nominated by the chief for working with the community, he says he’s just trying to break the stereotype of robo-cop.

“I want people to know that we are people, we are human beings, we are just doing the job that we love to do,” said Sgt. Sanders.

Out of hundreds of nominees, he says he was shocked to be chosen.

“It’s a great state to work in, it’s a great place to live, I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.”

Sergeant Sanders says it was surreal to be the only honoree from the Northern Panhandle.

“A small city with a big city atmosphere, and our police department is no different, we’re extremely professional and hopefully I prove that to everybody out here how Wheeling Police is,” said Sgt. Sanders.

People from all across the state thanked him for his service. He hopes other officers hear ‘thank you’, too.

“Hopefully I paved the way for our profession to be honored in such ways in the future.”

Sergeant Sanders now shares the 40 under 40 honor with his wife, Jess.

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