SIDNEY — Shelby County jail administrator, Karla Pleiman, was recently awarded an award for her dedication to excellence from the National Institute for Jail Operations at the 2022 JailCon.
Pleiman has a master’s degree in criminal justice administration or leadership from Urbana University. She has been with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and jail for 29 years, accepted her award on Oct. 13. Her career with the county started as a dispatcher from which she worked hard to make her way up to the administrator of the Shelby County Jail. When she was attending Lima Technical College, formerly Rhode’s State College when Pleiman attended, she completed her internship witht the Shelby County Juvenille Court where she heard that the Sheriff’s Office had positions open for corrections officers. Though she applied to be a corrections officer, Pleiman ended up working as a dispatcher for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office in 1994.
Pleiman worked as a dispatcher for a year before she moved on to be a full time corrections officer. She worked as a corrections officer for six years before she attended the police academy and was promoted to a supervisor within the jail. She took a short detour onto road patrol with the Sheriff’s Office for a couple of years before returning to the jail.
“Corrections is just my calling. It’s where I’m meant to be, I love it,” said Pleiman.
After returning to the jail she worked her way up to assistant administrator and finally to jail administrator. As the jail administrator for the Shelby County Jail, Pleiman is responsible for maintaining safety and security, ensuring protocols are followed and overseeing multiple programs including reentry and education programs for inmates.
Pleiman was recognized by the National Institute for Jail Operations because her hard work was recognized by both a coworker and Shelby County Sheriff James “Jim” Frye.
“I feel honored that I was chosen to receive this. I am honored and grateful. I was pleasantly surprised. Actually when I received the email from JailCon that I’d been chosen as the recipitent for this award, I thought it was spam, I didn’t think it was real,” said Pleiman.
“When you look back at what all Karl has accomplished throughout the years, across the state jail administrators call Karla to get advice on certain topics. That says a lot for us, we’re a small Sheriff’s office in, as Sheriff Lenhart would always put it, cornfield Ohio. It’s great to have somebody like Karla because each year we go through jail inspections and the state is constantly putting additional requirements every year on our COs and jail standards… I don’t know how many years in a row it’s been, but it’s been quite a few that we’ve had 100% on our jail inspections. That says a lot for our jail,” said Frye. “It’s (the jail) very very clean and that is all because of Karla and the contribution that she’s made and the dedication she’s had for the office of the sheriff.”
The Sidney Daily News conducts a periodic interview to update readers with news from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, 555 Gearhart Road, Sidney.