Derby Deputy

Josh Mark (right) is shown with his wife Paige and their newborn daughter, Kallie, after receiving the Kansas Sheriffs’ Association Deputy Sheriff of the Year award at a ceremony earlier in November.

While still fairly new to his career as a sheriff’s deputy with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, Derby’s Josh Mark is clearly suited to the role.

For evidence, look no further than his recent accolades, as Mark was named the Kansas Sheriffs’ Association 2021 Kansas Deputy Sheriff of the Year at a ceremony earlier in November.

After graduating from Derby High School in 2015, Mark spent three years working at a bank, but he admitted a career in law enforcement (with fellow Derby deputy Ken Kooser as a role model) always had a certain attraction while he was growing up.

“I decided that I was tired of sitting at a desk and wanted to do something a little bit more exciting, so I changed up career paths,” Mark said.

Once he met the age requirement (21), Mark enrolled at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center and is now coming up on four years serving as a deputy with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office.

Mark is a deputy in the patrol division for Sedgwick County, meaning he is regularly on the streets and being called into action.

“Taking calls, doing traffic stops, working accidents and things like that is truly what I like to do,” Mark said. “I enjoy that part of it, being out in the community, having contact with citizens, taking calls. You hope you run across somebody that you actually make a difference and change their life, obviously for the better.”

Knowing that most of the time Mark will be dealing with citizens on likely one of their worst days, he said taking pride in the job and being professional are key attributes he tries to keep in mind while on patrol, given that many individuals he interacts with will be going through a lot.

Specifically, Mark’s professionalism was fully on display in service to one of his fellow officers earlier this year – part of the reason he and a fellow deputy were recently honored with the Kansas Deputy Sheriff of the Year award (and earned a commendation from their own department).

On a call where an officer was reported down on the scene, Mark and his fellow deputy were first to arrive and worked to provide aid to the officer, not wanting to wait until the area was “secure” and cleared for EMS. Mark and his fellow deputy took fire from a suspect while loading the downed officer into a patrol car to transport him to the hospital. Mark also applied tourniquets to the officer’s legs and attempted to apply bandages to wounds on the officer’s face – reassuring him and keeping him calm throughout the process.

“Honestly, winning awards like these probably means more to my family than it does to me because I understand when I go to work you may be put in stressful situations in a matter of minutes or even seconds,” Mark said. “I really just credit how I handled the situation more to how I’ve been trained.”

Despite downplaying the recognition and turning it back on his training officers – helping make his response second nature – Mark admitted receiving the award may be one of the best moments of his young career.

Not planning to turn back anytime soon, Mark said he has aspirations for promotion, but for now he is pleased to have the opportunity to make an impact in his community and remains focused on that goal – no matter the obstacles he may face.

“Law enforcement can be very stressful, but it’s also one of the most rewarding jobs you can have,” Mark said. “I love doing what I’m doing and I’m going to continue to do it until I don’t like it and I don’t feel it’s the right fit for me.”

Kelly Breckunitch is the managing editor for the Derby Informer. Contact him at kelly@derbyinformer.com for questions and news tips. 

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Managing Editor

Kelly Breckunitch is the managing editor for the Derby Informer. Contact him at kelly@derbyinformer.com for questions and news tips.