Serving Ellis County through the sheriff’s office has been a family affair for the Osteen family, which has seen three generations working at the agency.
Sidney Osteen first signed on as a reserve deputy in 1996 under Sheriff John Gage, moving to full-time deputy status with Sheriff Ray Stewart in 1998 before retiring in 2009 after 14 years of service.
Sidney’s son, Jeremy, started work as a deputy in 1989 and continues to serve, now holding the rank of sergeant. Jeremy’s son, Cody, also is with the agency.
“My grandson, Cody, is presently serving as a detention officer with the sheriff’s office and has been with them for 2 ½ years,” Sidney said. “He’s waiting to go to school at Cedar Valley. Jeremy started out with the sheriff’s department in 1989 and attended school at Cedar Valley to train for this work.
“And all three generations have worked for two district judges – Gene Knize and Al Scoggins,” Sidney said. “I doubt that there is another father, son and grandson in Texas that can say they worked under two district judges for that many years.”
Jeremy is in his 22nd year as a sheriff’s deputy and with Cody signing on with the sheriff’s office six months before his grandfather retired, the three generations of Osteens had an opportunity to work together during those months.
“We all, at different times, worked in the courtroom as bailiffs through the years,” Sidney said.
Asked what drew him to law enforcement in Ellis County, Sidney said, “I just love to help people and to be involved in the work of the county. I’ve been especially fascinated by the politics and the court system and I’ve learned so much about how our court system works. I believe every deputy should have at least six months experience just observing the court system and watching it in action.”
Osteen praised the two judges he worked for through the years.
“It was a real pleasure to work for them – and everything they did, they did by the letter of the law,” he said.
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