By Rick Palsgrove
A Groveport Police officer is not only serving her community, she is serving her country.
Sworn into the Groveport Police Department in January 2020, SPC Shellie Rimmer is currently stationed with the United States Army in Saudi Arabia.
“I enlisted into the United States Army in July of 2016, so relatively new by some standards,” said Rimmer. “My contract of service ends July 2024, at which time I can decide to re-enlist and continue my military career or focus on my civilian career.”
Rimmer is a Reservist with the 807th Hospital Center from Twinsburg, Ohio. However, she is deployed with 12th Missile Defense Battery.
“My rank is currently a Specialist, or what’s known as an E-4,” said Rimmer. “I’m awaiting paperwork to be sent to my current unit for a battlefield promotion on my behalf. The promotion would be to sergeant, E-5. My MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) is 25B, which is an IT specialist.”
She expects to return to duty as a Groveport police officer this fall.
“Following a deployment, most soldiers take some time to reconnect with family and friends to strengthen those foundational relationships that are so important during mobilization,” said Rimmer. “My plan is to take a week off to do just that, visit my family and friends. Although I do expect to return to duty fairly quickly, possibly the second week of December.”
Rimmer said she has always been calculated and cautious as to the employers and organizations she chose to join.
“I originally started my journey looking to be a successful U.S. Marshal,” said Rimmer. “But during the adventure I fell in love with being a police officer. Prior to becoming a police, I was a correction officer at the Women’s Huron Valley prison in Ypsilanti MI. I knew any career I chose would entail my need to want help others. It’s satisfying to know that I’ve found my niche early in life.”
Rimmer said she is a “true believer that community policing is the best strategy for police departments and as a must for those who protect and serve.”
She said, as an officer, one must have a relationship built with the community as a whole and with the individual community members one serves to quickly find the best approaches to lasting solutions for anything that might come up.
“It’s much easier to ask for support from people who know and trust you, than if you are a stranger to them,” said Rimmer.
She said she joined the military because, after her completion of NJROTC in high school, she enjoyed the culture and structure of the military.
“It quickly became a bucket list add on for me,” said Rimmer. “When I turned 27, I challenged myself to join. The selling points that won me over were the great benefits the Army provides and the opportunity for such an accomplishment to help advance my career.”
When asked what the most interesting experience she has had in her role in the military, Rimmer said, “It would be attending Advanced individual training. My role in the military allowed me to attend great IT courses. Courses that range from learning a computer’s nomenclature, repairs and building computers, programing, networking, and cyber security.”
She said there are several similarities between her career as a police officer and being a soldier.
“Both fields have a rank structure, require physical fitness standards, require firearm qualifications and safety training, also, uniforms and drill and ceremony are a large part as they preserve tradition and honor the pursuit of excellence and discipline,” said Rimmer. “I also find the core values of both are the same and these values inspire me daily. Being in uniform is an expression of the duty to service that I feel and this is what I take with me into the field. Both are focused on community interactions and as a Reservist, I am more fully aware of just how many service members, Guard and Reserve are your next door neighbors.”
She said the differences are significant, too.
“I am currently serving overseas and my duty stations change versus being in one city and community over a number of years or even entire career,” said Rimmer. “In the military, we hope our presence serves to make a lasting impact for the betterment of the lives of those living there. But we only have a short time to serve there and then the responsibility is turned over to the next rotation of soldiers or the local population – passing the torch. As a police officer, I get to know and grow with the community I serve. The relationships built between my fellow officers and members of the community are lasting and it’s rewarding to see the positive impacts we can make as public servants.”
Originally being from Cleveland, Rimmer had never heard of Groveport until she applied for the vacant police officer position.
“Groveport has a great history and hospitality,” said Rimmer. “I’ve never met so many people with such great spirits and love for their home town.”