AACIS Instructor Receives Medal of Commendation

American Animal Cruelty Investigations School (AACIS)

On October 6, 2016, AACIS instructor and Animal Cruelty Investigator Sgt. Stephanie Nowlin received a Medal of Commendation from Escambia County, Florida Sheriff David Morgan.

The medal was in response to her dedication to excellence in all aspects of her job duties and her desire to bring all agencies (sheriff’s office, animal control, and state attorney’s office) involved in prosecuting cases of animal cruelty to the same team.  After five and one-half years, her efforts have paid off and she was formerly recognized for continually going above and beyond the call of duty.  This is the first time in Escambia County, FL that an animal control officer has received an award from the sheriff’s office.

The accompanying letter from Sheriff Morgan read:

“Animal Control Sergeant Stephanie Nowlin’s knowledge and experience regarding animal cruelty cases makes her an asset to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.  She has successfully implemented procedures for Escambia County relating to livestock operations.
Sgt. Nowlin will respond to any issues that may arise at any time.  She has put numerous hours into training and can handle any situation encountered in animal cruelty investigations.  She is the “go to” person for livestock issues in the north end of the county.  She provides guidance and assists deputies on a daily basis.
Stephanie investigates and presents animal cruelty cases directly to the state attorney for prsecution.  She has developed a working relationship requiring little assistance from the sheriff’s office.
Sgt. Nowlin is passionate about her profession and the well-being of animals.  For her assistance to the ECSO, and her service to the citizens of Escambia County, Stephanie Nowlin is awarded this Commendation Medal on this 6th day of October, 2016.”

AACIS Executive Director, Doug Eddins, says that Sgt. Nowlin’s efforts and results exemplify the type of animal control professional the every agency should strive to acquire.  Eddins said, “It’s not enough to just attend various training classes for the profession.  Officers have to make that internal commitment to excellence and accept nothing but the best from themselves.  Every day, they should wake up with a clean slate and go to work with the attitude that they have to re-earn their title as a professional.”

Almost every AACIS class emphasizes professionalism and “doing the right thing” to every attending officer regardless of their level of experience.  New officers are still learning how to be professional and veterans run the risk of being complacent.  Either way, reinforcing professionalism in every class helps keep the officers’ minds where they need to be; in the hear-and-now, paying attention to officer safety, being professional, and doing the right thing.

Sgt. Nowlin enjoys teaching professionalism, public image, and decision-making for new animal control officers in Florida Animal Control Officer Certification Course required for all new animal control officers in the State of Florida.

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