Custer County Sheriff Dan Osmond has been honored with the 2018 Mid-Plains Community College Distinguished Alumni Award.
Osmond was recognized Sunday evening during the Nebraska Community College Association's annual meeting in Norfolk. He was nominated for the award by MPCC President Ryan Purdy and members of MPCC's cabinet.
"Sheriff Osmond is wonderful representative of Mid-Plains Community College. He grew up in the area, received his education in the area and now serves the area," Purdy said. "The opportunity to help people and change lives draws him to his career. His service to the community extends well beyond his position as Custer County sheriff as demonstrated by the numerous awards he has received from his civic participation. Mid-Plains Community College couldn't be more proud to have Dan Osmond as our distinguished alumni."
Osmond is a Dunning native. He studied criminal justice at MPCC from 1994-96 and has worked at the sheriff's office in Broken Bow ever since.
Criminal justice wasn't in his original plans, however. He initially wanted to be a mechanic, but changed his mind after sitting in on patrols with a former sheriff in Blaine County.
"When I first decided to go into law enforcement, it was because I thought it would be exciting to fight crime," Osmond said. "Once I got into the field, I learned how much I could help people – how much I could change lives. It's definitely the public service aspect that draws me to my career. A lot of times in this profession, we're called into situations where we have to make something better or help someone out. There's a lot of reward in that."
Mid-Plains was always Osmond's first choice for college because it was close to home and his job and because his friends were there. The fact that he got a scholarship that paid all of his tuition made the decision that much easier.
"I had a great experience at MPCC," Osmond said. "I had very good instructors, and everything I was taught applied to my career. The campus and class sizes were not overwhelming, which I felt led to a better learning environment."
One instructor in particular stood out to him – Allen Settles. Settles taught criminal justice for the college, and is the reason Osmond claims he was so prepared for basic training at the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center in Grand Island.
"Allen shared his personal experiences and applied them to what we were learning in class," Osmond said. "That really intrigued me. It made the lessons easier to understand and remember."
Osmond received the Outstanding Performance Award at basic training – an accolade that remains his favorite to this day.
"At the end of the training, the instructors and students vote on who should get that award," Osmond said. "It's based on overall performance throughout 12 weeks. That was a long 12 weeks, so to get recognized for how I did during that time made me really proud."
Osmond has gone on to receive numerous awards since that time, including the D.A.R.E. Officer Training – Best Performance, Excellence in Detention Facility Administration award from the Jail Standards board.
He has also been honored as a Lion of the Year and with the Melvin Gordon Fellowship Award from the Lions Club for his volunteerism within the chapter and the work he has done to boost membership as membership chair.
Osmond received a certificate from the NACO Institute of Excellence for completing a weeklong program of professional development for county officials.
Additionally, he serves as the president of the Nebraska Sheriffs' Association, which provides continuing education for sheriffs across the state, serves as a reference for legal questions and a lobbying group representing the interests of law enforcement in the Legislature and keeps members up-to-date with new legislation and technological advances impacting law enforcement.
On a personal level, Osmond has been married to his wife Krista for 20 years. The couple has two children, Dani and Chris.