These men and women are proud to serve all of Livingston County and strive to help make this community a better and safer place for everyone:
Sheriff Steve Cox
Sheriff Cox is a life long resident of Livingston County. He graduated from Chillicothe High School in 1982 and attended Missouri Western State College in St. Joseph with a major in Criminal Justice and a minor in Penology and Corrections. Sheriff Cox graduated 1st in the Law Enforcement Academy class in June 1986 at the Missouri State Highway Patrol Training Academy in Jefferson City.
Steve began his career as a Deputy-Detention Officer-Dispatcher for Sheriff Leland O’Dell in June 1985 and left in September 1988 for the Chillicothe Police Department. There he worked through the ranks to Assistant Chief of Police when he was elected as Livingston County Sheriff in the fall of 2000. Steve began serving as sheriff on January 01, 2001 and continues in that position.
While serving Livingston County residents, Sheriff Cox has been honored as 2005 Missouri Sheriff of the Year from the Missouri Deputy Sheriff Association, Distinguished Citizenship Award from the Chillicothe Elks Lodge #656 in 2003, Commendation from Veterans of Foreign Wars in 2003, Congressional Record presentation from Congressman Sam Graves in 2003, and Missouri House of Representatives Resolution from Representative John Quinn in 2003.
Sheriff Cox was elected by Missouri Sheriffs to serve on the Executive Board for the Missouri Sheriffs Association and later serve as MSA President in 2010/2011, appointed by Missouri Sheriffs to the Board of Directors for the Missouri Sheriffs Retirement System, appointed by Missouri Governor Matt Blunt to the Public Safety Medal of Valor Review Board, and was appointed by Governor Jay Nixon to the Missouri Peace Officer and Standards Training (POST) Board on March 14, 2011. Steve has also served as Chairman of the North Central Missouri Major Case Squad, served 2 years on the Board for the Missouri Association of Counties, and is currently on the Board of Directors for the N.I.T.R.O. Federal Task Force.
Throughout his law enforcement career, Steve has been an advocate for victims and stands against sex offenders. He is credited for numerous investigations on sex offenders and pedophiles which resulted not only in many arrests and convictions but also changes to Missouri laws which provide better protection for children. During this time Sheriff Cox prompted a wide range of education for parents, grand parents, educators, children and law enforcement officers; not only in Livingston County or the State of Missouri but across the United States. Sheriff Cox has testified before legislators in Jefferson City about the dangers of pedophiles and trained over 300 local, state, and federal law enforcement officers and agencies on investigative techniques for sex offenders.
Steve is proudly married to Beth Cox. Both Steve and Beth each have 3 children and together they now have 4 adopted children. Steve’s hobbies include family, hunting, fishing, camping, and his work.
You may reach Sheriff Cox at email@example.com
Chief Deputy Michael Claypole
Chief Deputy Claypole graduated from Chillicothe High School and attended the Law Enforcement Academy at Missouri Western State College. Michael began his career in law enforcement in 1999 with the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office as deputy sheriff. Michael has since worked as an officer for the Chillicothe Police Department from 2000 until 2008 and held the position of sergeant. Michael began working at the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office in 2008 and has earned the rank of sergeant and in January 2013 was promoted to chief deputy.
You may reach Chief Deputy Claypole at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Captain/Office Manager Sindy Thomas
Sindy is a life long resident of Livingston County and graduated from Chillicothe High School. She accepted employment as a Deputy-Office Manager under Livingston County Sheriff Leland O’Dell in November 1991. Sindy attended the Law Enforcement Academy in 1992 at the Missouri State Highway Patrol Training Academy in Jefferson City.
Sindy is the senior full time employee at the sheriff’s office. Sindy serves as Captain-Office Manager and is 3rd in command of the organization. Sindy is well respected in law enforcement for her hard work and organization skills while assisting other agencies and the Court system. Sindy is in charge or CCW Registration and Renewals.
Sindy is married to Steve Thomas and she has 1 daughter. Sindy very much enjoys time with her family. Sindy reports she most enjoys her job when she has opportunity to help others and make a positive difference.
You may reach Captain Thomas at email@example.com
Road Patrol Staff:
Reserve Deputy/School Resource Officer Mike Lewis
Deputy Lewis grew up in Chillicothe and graduated from Chillicothe High School. Mike received a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Columbia College. Mike has been employed with area law enforcement having served with the Chillicothe Police for 6 years and he joined the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office in August 1998.
Mike is the School Resource Officer for the Chillicothe R-II School System and serves as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff for Livingston County. Mike is active in school activities and youth events. As School Resource Officer, Mike has been a member of the National School Resource Officer’s Association and was a founding member of the Missouri School Resource Officer’s Association.
Mike has been honored in 2004 by both the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association and the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association as “Reserve Deputy Sheriff of the Year”. Mike is married and has 3 children.
Deputy Nicholas Leadbetter
I have spent most of my life in Springfield, Missouri where I graduated from Willard High. I then attended Missouri State University where I pursued a degree in Special Education. I decided that I wanted a change of pace, so I stepped out of the realm of teaching and set my sights on law enforcement. I graduated from Drury University’s Law Enforcement Academy on May 23, 2013 where I received my Class A Post Certification. I'm also an Instructor for the Missouri Sheriff's Association.
I enjoy competing in powerlifting and strongman competitions, as well as spending time reading and watching movies with my future wife.
Deputy Leadbetter may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detective Ryan Ford
Ryan was born in Kirksville, Missouri in August 1987 then graduated from Schuyler County R-1 in 2006. In February 2009, Ryan began working for the Adair County Sheriff’s Office as a Detention Officer. In September 2010, Ryan attended police academy at (LETI) Law Enforcement Training Institute in Columbia, Missouri where Ryan graduated with a Class A Post license in December 2010.
In February 2011, I began working for the Marceline Police Department as a Patrolman. In March 2012, Ryan accepted employment with the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office as a Deputy Sheriff where Ryan worked until April 2014 where Ryan then accepted employment at the Chillicothe Police Department.
On November 1st, 2014, Ryan decided to reunite with the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office and accepted employment as a Deputy Sheriff. Ryan was promoted to Detective on July 01, 2017.
Ryan is married to Haley and has one son named Hunter.
Ryan entered law enforcement to make a difference in people’s lives in a positive manner. Ryan enjoys the different outcomes that a Deputy Sheriff as to encounter.
Detective Ford may be reached at email@example.com
Deputy Chris Mueller
Chris Mueller grew up in Bolivar, Missouri where he graduated high school in 1993. Chris attended the Missouri Sheriff's Association Training Academy in 1997. He moved to Chillicothe in 1998 and worked for the Police Department unit 2007.
Chris worked for the LCSO from April 01, 2011 to September 23, 2014 at which time he accepted a position with the Chillicothe Police Department. Chris was rehired by the LCSO and began serving as Deputy on March 17, 2015.
Deputy Mueller may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deputy Dustin Woelfle
Dustin was born in Loveland Colorado in January 1989. He was raised there and graduated from Loveland High School in 2007. Shortly after graduation he decided to move to Utica where he stayed with his grandparents while attending school at North Central Missouri College for criminal justice. In the summer of 2014 he attended the Missouri Sheriffs' Association Training Academy in Chillicothe. Dustin graduated the law enforcement academy in June 2015 with perfect attendance and salutatorian honors. Dustin accepted full-time employment with the Livingston County Sheriffs' Office in July 2015 as a Deputy Sheriff.
In his off time Dustin enjoys spending time with his family and friends as well as weightlifting and running.
Dustin may be reached at email@example.com
Deputy John S. Stafford
Was raised in rural Georgia where he graduated from Lincoln County High School. John was married in May 1976 and has 4 children and 8 grandchildren.
John served his country in the United States Marine Corps where he proudly served in the 8th I Marine Barracks, Washington, DC and served duty at both the White House and Camp David. John also served in Vietnam and during the Fall of Saigon.
John Stafford attended Morrow State University and Georgia Tech. Served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves and specialized in chemical warfare.
John has work experience with the U.S. Marshall Service in Kansas City, Missouri working part-time in Felon Security, Travel, and Court. John is retired after 17 ½ years with the Kansas City Police Department where he worked as Patrolman, Field Training Officer, CIT Officer, was a Certified DNA Collector, and Detective.
Beginning September 2016, John was employed as a Livingston County Reserve Deputy/Bailiff. John began full time duties as road deputy on November 01, 2017.
Deputy Martin Minnis
Martin grew up in Chillicothe, MO and moved to his mothers and graduated from Marionville High School. Martin subsequently attended Baptist Bible College where he played basketball before transferring to Missouri Valley College where he continued to play basketball for the Vikings.
In 2017 Martin graduated from the Missouri Sheriffs' Training Academy and received his P.O.S.T license to be a peace officer in Missouri. Deputy Minnis has attended specialized training in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement and is very passionate on keeping the public safe from drunk and/or drugged drivers. Deputy Minnis is also a member of the Missouri Army National Guard as a Combat Engineer and is excited to continue and grow his career in Livingston County. Deputy Minnis began working for the LCSO on July 16, 2018.
Deputy Minnis may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deputy Jordan Williams
Jordan grew up in Billings Missouri and gradated high school there in 2014. Jordan attended training at the Missouri Sheriffs' Association Training Academy and obtained his P.O.S.T. license in 2017.
Deputy Williams began his law enforcement career as a police officer for the City of Billings an then joined LCSO on August 06, 2018.
Jordan may be reached at email@example.com.
Deputy Jay Shirley
Jay is married to Amy Shirley and reside in Utica, MO the couple have 3 children and 3 grandchildren. Jay recently retired as a Corporal with the Missouri State Highway Patrol where he had worked for 28 years and 10 months.
The Shirley’s enjoy family time, camping, attending Bluegrass Festivals and even play Bluegrass music.
Jay Shirley began employment with the LCSO on November 05, 2018.
Deputy Shirley may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dena Davis, Assistant Office Manager
Dena was born and raised in Chillicothe and graduated from Chillicothe High School and Missouri-Western State College.
Dena joined the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office in July 2012 as E-911 Dispatcher hoping to help the people of Livingston County, to “pay it forward” for the help received in the past from others.
When not working Dena’s hobbies include reading, wildlife watching, playing “personal assistant” to her pet cat, riding her 4-wheeler, target pistol shooting and spending time with her family.
Dena was previously employed by the LCSO as a 911 Emergency Dispatcher. Since the City-County reduced to one dispatch center, Dena asked to remain on as a volunteer to assist our office and the public.
In 2014 we received funding from the county commission to add an assistant office manager. Dena was the best qualified candidate for that postion and continues to work with us.
Zaki is a Belgian Malinois and was born September 2015 in Holland. He began his training in the Czech Republic before he was imported to K9 Working Dogs International in Longford, Kansas. He is trained in narcotics detection, tracking and apprehension.
Zaki is a great addition to the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office where he has already made an impact in North Missouri. Zaki is a sworn deputy sheriff with our office.
Zaki was purchased with 100% donations from our citizens and businesses with no tax money used for the purchase.
Our Friend and Former Chief Deputy Jim Lightner passed away February 27, 2013 after a long day of working Court security.
Jim Lightner was a life long resident of Livingston County. Jim had been a law enforcement officer since 1985. Jim served the Chillicothe Police Department for 14 years and was with the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office for the remainder of his career until he retired from full time duty on October 31, 2012. Jim continued working on a part time basis for the sheriff's office as a reserve deputy and Court bailiff.
In 2007 Jim was honored by the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association as Missouri Deputy Sheriff of the Year. In 2002 Jim received 2 Awards for Valor from the KQTV for on duty performance as Deputy Sheriff. Jim has received 3 citations for Valor in the Line of Duty for saving human life and has received a significant number of commendations for helping others.
Jim was proudly married to Lovie Lightner together they have 2 children and 3 grandchildren.
Jim greatly enjoyed time with family and friends, hunting, the outdoors, and poker. Jim reports his favorite part of this job is the ability to make a positive difference in the lives of many people.
Reserve Deputy Jim Fox (retired 2015)
Jim was born and raised in Edina, Missouri and graduated from the Know County High School. Jim is a U.S. Navy Vietnam veteran from 1970-1972. He served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea CVA-43 in the Aviation Ordnance division.
In August 1973 he married Linda and she is now a retired teacher after serving 38 years in that profession. They have one son, Adam, now living in Columbia, Missouri and a graduate from MU.
Jim retired from the Missouri State Highway Patrol after 26 years of service and is now a deputy sheriff and bailiff for the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office. His hobbies include fishing and flower gardening.
Jim has previously worked as Reserve Deputy/Bailiff with the LCSO in the past and retired December 31, 2012. Jim rejoined our team in the same capacity on November 04, 2013 and will work occasionally to assist the LCSO.
Deputy Kurt Reith (retired)
Kurt was born in Chanute, Kansas in 1953 and his family moved to Hamilton, Missouri in 1953 and graduated from J.C. Penny High School in 1963. Kurt then attended Medical Technologist School in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1964 he married Phyllis L. McKenzie in Brookfield, Missouri.
Kurt joined the U.S. Navy in 1965 and did one tour in Vietnam in 1968-69. Kurt continued working in the medical field for 21 years in Brookfield, Cameron, and Chillicothe hospitals.
In March 1986, Kurt accepted employment as a Deputy-Dispatcher-Detention Officer for Sheriff Leland O’Dell and retired from the U.S. Navy on June 01, 1988. In September 1988 Kurt completed his basic law enforcement training at the Missouri State Highway Patrol Academy in Jefferson City.
In 2001 Kurt was honored as “Deputy Sheriff of the Year” from both the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association and Missouri Deputy Sheriffs’ Association. In November he received the bronze award for valor from the Northwest Missouri Law Enforcement Awards Committee for actions taking earlier that year. On March 02, 2002, Kurt received the Medal of Merit from the National Sheriffs’ Association.
Kurt retired as a full time deputy sheriff in June 2007. He continued working as a reserve deputy with our office and assists with many prisoner transports and extraditions.
Kurt has the reputation of being a human GPS. He easily recalls what vehicles are located at which house and who lives exactly where in many rural homes.