The following story was previously published on Lake Legal News.
For nearly 24 years, Eustis Police Capt. Shane McSheehy protected and served the residents of Eustis and on Tuesday, he said goodbye.
Lake Legal News sat down with McSheehy Tuesday morning on his retirement day and spoke about his time at Eustis Police Department and his plans for the future. After a five-month search for a chief position, McSheehy is now the chief at Pella Police Department in Pella, Iowa. He is scheduled to start later this month.
McSheehy had a good feeling about Pella from the start; he is a shot glass collector and decided not to pick one up when he was there during the interview process — because he knew he would be back, he told LLN. “It just clicked.”
In Pella, he will oversee 18 full-time officers, six part-time officers and seven civilian employees, according to the city’s website. The city has a population of around 10,000, a little less than half of Eustis. His wife, Debbie, and son, Zane, a junior in high school, will be going to Pella with McSheehy and Zane will be able to dual-enroll in high school and college, a factor that was very important to McSheehy. “That was part of the puzzle too — to make sure his school was taken care of.” Debbie has been very supportive of his career, McSheehy said, “She has always been a cop’s wife.”
From the time McSheehy was 3 years old, he told his grandmother he wanted to be a law enforcement officer. He aspired to be the chief of a department for as long as he can remember. He took numerous classes and attended leadership training, totaling more than 3,500 hours. “Everything I did was a very deliberate path,” he explained to LLN.
During his tenure at EPD, McSheehy worked in many units, including the Office of Professional Standards, Criminal Investigations, Traffic Homicide and Road Patrol to name a few. He also served as the SWAT Commander for 13 years. “Building SWAT is one of my proudest accomplishments.”
He was also the force behind getting EPD accredited; accreditation focuses on standards and procedures that provide the best practices for a law enforcement agency. Former Chief Fred Cobb came to McSheehy in 2014 and said, “I want you to make it happen,” McSheehy recalled.
McSheehy told LLN Cobb, who served as EPD chief from 2005 to 2015, taught him a lot and always appreciated McSheehy’s candor. He said many times the pair had to have tough conversations and although McSheehy sometimes had to tell Cobb things he did not want to hear, they were things he needed to hear.
“He was my biggest mentor by far,” McSheehy said.
LLN spoke to Cobb by phone Wednesday morning about McSheehy. They kept in contact throughout the whole process of McSheehy searching for a chief’s position, “I’m really proud of him,” Cobb told LLN, “I worked with him and watched him grow.”
“I’m very confident he possesses the skills to succeed as chief of police in the current environment,” Cobb said.
McSheehy is looking forward to beginning his new chapter, “Every time I have been challenged; I’ve done really well.”