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Ogle County Sheriff’s officer recognized for decades of serving in and out of uniform

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Inspiring 815 Jason Ketter

BYRON (WREX) — Uptown Lanes in Byron was more than just a bar or restaurant last week.

It was the scene for a surprise.

Friends, family and fellow officers of Ogle County Sheriff's Sergeant Jason Ketter packed the place to celebrate.

Ketter is the latest recipient of the Hometown Hero Award, an honor created by the Byron Chamber of Commerce to recognize people making it impact in their community.

"I'm humbled. Greatly humbled. I'm surprised as well, but nice and humbled," Ketter said.

"I don't look for any sort of recognition. I just do what needs to be done and work in my social life and volunteering for groups. So the fact that I got recognized, I'm pretty much speechless."

Ketter has served the Ogle County Sheriff's Office for more than 20 years.

While people a first responder is a great service in its own right, there's much more to Ketter beyond his badge.

He's very involved in Byron Knight's of Columbus, Byron Lions Club, St. Mary's church...the list goes on.

Ketter has created a strong reputation as a servant leader throughout the Byron community.

"He's just an outstanding individual. It's great to be associated with someone like Jason," Byron Knights of Columbus pastor Rick Hughes said.

The other larger contribution Ketter makes is with CASA or Court Appointed Special Advocates.

The organization pairs adults with abused of neglected kids working through the legal system.

Ketter has made donations to the group and even got his wife Rebecca involved, who now sits as the board president of CASA.

When asked about all of her husband's hard work, she says "it's just Jason."

"He constantly has a servant's heart and just wants to help people," Rebecca Ketter said.

That dedication to helping others made Ketter a perfect candidate for the Hometown Hero Award.

He sees it as a way to show people he's more than just a police officer.

"I don't have to be just law and order. I can also be social, help charities, volunteer and help people. People get to know you on a personal level instead of just a professional level," Ketter said.

The ideals that made Ketter a fit for the Hometown Hero Award are the same we look for with Inspiring 815.

If you know anyone who is doing what they can to make our home a better place, you can fill out a nomination form here or you can reach out to eleake@wrex.com.

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Evan Leake

Evan Leake anchors for 13 News Today and 13 News at Noon. Evan grew up in Darien, Illinois, a south-west suburb of Chicago. He came to WREX in 2017 and worked his way to the anchor desk in May of 2019. He coordinates both the Teacher of the Week and Inspiring 815 series for 13 News. You can connect with Evan at eleake@wrex.com or Evan Leake on Facebook.

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