Sunday, June 21, 2009

NDN Profiles CCSO Family

We wanted to share this story, which appeared in Sunday's Naples Daily News as part of the paper's Father's Day coverage. CCSO wishes a happy Father's Day to dads everywhere:

Father’s footsteps: Commander, son, daughter work for Collier sheriff

NAPLES — It took a couple of decades, but 22-year-old Robbie Lewis finally grew into his father’s boots.

When Robbie was just a small boy, his father, Bob Lewis, used to come home from work as a Collier County sheriff’s deputy, change out of his uniform, and take off his boots.

“I would go and put his big boots on. I was just a little guy,” Robbie Lewis said. “I remember from that moment on I always wanted to put on the full suit.”

Robbie Lewis finally joined his father at the Collier Sheriff’s Office right after he finished high school about four years ago. He now works in the agency’s traffic unit.

Bob Lewis, 52, a commander in charge of the Sheriff’s Office’s Special Operations Group, wasn’t surprised at his son’s career choice.

“I knew at the time if he wanted to do that, I’d be supportive of him, and if he wanted to be a doctor, I’d support him in that also,” Bob Lewis said. “If work is a passion, it’s not really work.”

There are at least 10 fathers at the Collier County Sheriff’s Office whose son or daughter works with the agency, officials said. Robbie Lewis said he sees his dad quite often at work, and occasionally gets to grab lunch with him.

“I still live at home, so I see him all the time there,” Robbie Lewis said of his dad. “I see him at work. I can’t get away from the guy.”

One year after Robbie joined the force, Kristin Lewis, Bob’s daughter and Robbie’s sister, graduated from high school and was hired as a 911 dispatcher. However, her career with the Sheriff’s Office was never so certain.

Kristin, who turned 21 on Saturday, said she considered a career as a veterinarian, but nixed that idea because she didn’t enjoy biology class. Never a fan of school, Kristin wanted to do something after high school besides college.

Her dad suggested dispatch.

“She’s found her niche there,” Bob Lewis said. “She’s very good at what she does. I’ve had a lot of compliments as to her abilities there.”

Kristin Lewis said she enjoys her job because every day is something different. And sometimes its fun to dispatch her father and brother.

“I get to tell them what to do for a change,” Kristin Lewis said. “It’s nice.”

And if three Lewises aren’t enough, Bob’s wife, Andrea Lewis - Robbie’s and Kristin’s stepmom - works as a supervisor in the Sheriff’s Office’s central records division.

“It’s the whole Lewis clan, I guess you could say,” Kristin Lewis said.

- Ryan Mills