Sheriff’s department donates to local couple


It was a phone call she won’t forget any time soon.

Jill Minton received a call last week from her husband, Shawn, who told her that the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department had raised money and wanted to give them the proceeds.

Minton, who was diagnosed in April with breast cancer, said she was surprised that someone had thought of her.

"I was really emotional because it was so overwhelming," the 42-year-old said. "A thank-you doesn’t seem like enough for what they have done for me."

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The department created a No Shave November fundraiser, where male employees were given the option to not shave facial hair with a donation. A total of 29 employees donated to give $920 to the couple.

"We’ve always had a no beard policy, but guys kept asking me about it, and I told them we could as long as we raised money," Sheriff Rick Meyer said.

Meyer said the department plans to continue to allow beards through the winter so long as they do more fundraisers. He has required that beards remain kept trimmed.

Meyer said he met the Mintons at the end of October and decided that’s who the donation would go to.

"Who else better to give a donation to than a fellow officer who lives here?" he said.

Shawn, who has been a police officer for 20 years, is a deputy for the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department. Jill is an investigator for the public defender agency within the major felony court in Indianapolis.

Meyer said he remembers times when Shawn, who previously worked in Jackson County, backed him up on a few calls when he was a patrolman and has helped on a few calls since Meyer became sheriff.

For Jill, the donation will help with medical bills she has incurred through testing, surgery and chemotherapy. She’s in her seventh round of chemotherapy, and when she’s done with those treatments, doctors will determine whether or not she needs radiation.

Insurance did not cover a second test and biopsy, so the couple have had to make monthly payments out of pocket.

"This will help me with that," she said. "I haven’t even received my bill for chemotherapy."

While she and Shawn live in Dudleytown, Jill said she is not originally from here but grew up in Indianapolis. Experiencing a close-knit community helping them was surprising.

"Things like this don’t happen in the big city," she said.

Meyer said he is proud of the employees of the department for their commitment to helping people.

"I’ve known this for a long time and I have said it before, but we have good people who work here, and they always want to help the community," he said.

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