History Made at Excelsior Springs Police Promotion Ceremony

Craven, Nash-St. John, Cramer, and Sickles leveled up at the Excelsior Springs Police Department promotion ceremony (photo Courtney Cole).

On Wednesday, July 27, The Excelsior Springs Police Department held a promotion ceremony for four of their officers to the rank of sergeant. The officers promoted included Cassie Cramer, Kyle Craven, Samantha Nash-St. John, and Scott Sickles. It was a proud moment for all of the officers being honored but for Cramer and Nash-St. John, the moment was also historic. Their promotions marked the first time in the department’s 108-year history, that any woman has been promoted to the rank of sergeant. In his opening remarks Police Chief, Gregory Dull noted that women were not allowed to serve on the Excelsior Springs Police Force until 1982. Sergeant Cramer said she was honored to be a part of such a historic moment, “I think it’s pretty awesome. I think it’s a good step forward for the department to finally have females in leadership roles.” Nash-St. John agreed and added that hoped that she might inspire other young women. “It was really nice to be a part of making history for our department. I want to set a good example for kids, especially since I have a daughter, I want them to know they can accomplish their goals,” she said.

Promotion ceremonies have become a standard practice under Chief Dull’s leadership. He feels it is important to celebrate the dedication and hard work of those who serve the Excelsior Springs community. The ceremony held at the Community Center drew nearly 40 people made up of friends, family, city officials, and co-workers. Several of the officers being promoted either had served or were currently serving as school resource officers, so there was a large contingent of teachers and school administrators there to show their appreciation and support. Each officer was called to the front and a synopsis of their careers leading to their promotion was read. Each new sergeant was “pinned” with their new badge by someone close to them. Sergeant Cramer was pinned by her husband, Sergeant Craven was pinned by his son, Sergeant Nash-St. John was pinned by her daughter, and Sergeant Sickles was pinned by his father. 

Watch the promotion ceremony in its entirety and check out the Excelsior Citizen YouTube Channel for more hyperlocal video content.

The accolades for each promotee were as follows:

Cassie Cramer

Sergeant Cramer with her family (photo Courtney Cole).

Corporal Cassie Cramer began her career with the Excelsior Springs Police Department on February 21, 2012, as a School Resource Officer. Not long after she started, her care and compassion for others became clear as she exhibited a strong desire for helping those who were struggling with mental health issues.

In May of 2013, Corporal Cramer transferred to Patrol, where her passion for assisting those experiencing mental health issues continued to flourish.  She soon recognized the importance of educating and training police officers to respond more effectively to individuals during times of crisis.  Over time, she developed a positive relationship with Tri-County Mental Health, and eventually spearheaded the creation of the Excelsior Springs Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Team program.  Due to her efforts, our CIT officers have become more skilled at de-escalating incidents involving people with mental illnesses, while bringing an element of understanding and compassion to those involved.

In late 2017, Corporal Cramer was recognized for her commitment to the police department when she was promoted to the rank of what is now designated Corporal. In her new role, she developed her leadership philosophy around maintaining a positive working environment, having appreciation and respect for the individual, and creating a team-oriented culture.  This type of leadership philosophy is essential at a time when external factors call for us to have a strong brother and sisterhood.

Corporal Cramer has constantly gone above and beyond to make sure the Excelsior Springs community receives the service it needs.  In her 10 years with the Excelsior Springs Police Department, Corporal Cramer has been a model of reliability and dependability.  When shifts need additional coverage, she always succeeds in finding a way to help, even if it means taking valuable time away from her family.

In May of this year, Corporal Cramer once again exhibited her commitment to the Excelsior Springs Police Department, when she willingly took on the additional responsibility of serving as an acting sergeant in patrol, where she has continued to thrive.  With that said, it is my pleasure to announce that Corporal Cramer is being promoted to the rank of Sergeant.  Commensurate with her promotion, Sergeant Cramer will be assigned to the Patrol Division. Congratulations, Sergeant Cassie Cramer!

Kyle Craven

Sergeant Craven and his family (photo Courtney Cole).

Officer Kyle Craven began his career with the Excelsior Springs Police Department as a School Resource Officer on June 14th, 2021. Prior to this, he worked for the Smithville Police Department and his reputation had preceded himself.  We knew that Excelsior Springs was his hometown, that he was an incredibly hard worker, and was great to be around.  During the recruitment process, he certainly didn’t disappoint, in fact, he exceeded all expectations. 

As early as his first day with the Excelsior Springs Police Department, Officer Craven began making a positive impact on his working environment.  He proved to be a caring and compassionate officer whose positivity and infectious personality made an immediate impact on everyone around him.  He created such a strong working environment, that by the end of his Field Training, other patrol officers mentioned that they did not want him to leave patrol to go to work in the school. 

In August of 2021, Officer Craven began his assignment as a School Resource Officer and was designated to the Excelsior Springs elementary schools.   Unsurprisingly, after just a couple of weeks, staff began receiving compliments regarding his unique ability to connect with children and those compliments still continue to this day.

Officer Craven’s work ethic also did not go unnoticed.  Whatever challenges the school district and police department staff tasked him with, he would not only rise to the occasion, but he would also go above and beyond when completing them. As the school year came to an end, there was a significant need for an acting supervisor on the road.  Officer Craven’s overall knowledge, experience, and strong ability to lead made him a great fit to cover this need.  When offered the position, Officer Craven accepted this additional responsibility and ran with it.  In just a couple of months, he had already developed a culture of teamwork and mutual respect; creating an environment in which anyone would be proud to work. 

Officer Craven has also shown to be a true leader by taking a strong interest in the development of officers and showing them that they are appreciated.  Kyle emphasized this type of leadership during the Sergeant’s Promotional Process indicating a desire to create a mentorship program designed to increase morale, retention, and the personal growth of officers, that staff is eager to begin.  It is now my pleasure to announce that Officer Kyle Craven is being promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Commensurate with his promotion, Sergeant Craven will be assigned to the Patrol Division. Congratulations, Sergeant Kyle Craven!

Samantha Nash-St.John

Sergeant Nash-St. John and her family (photo Courtney Cole).

Corporal Samantha Nash-St. John began her career with the Excelsior Springs Police Department on March 1, 2019, as a School Resource Officer. As she began her assignment in the schools, her fellow co-workers, school staff, and students were immediately drawn to her friendly and energetic personality, allowing her to quickly build relationships.  During this time, Corporal Nash-St. John also exhibited a passion for the safety and security of the school environment, constantly developing and revising plans to address the evolving challenges threatening the safety of students and school staff.

Corporal Nash-St. John truly cares about her student’s well-being.  The police department’s command staff has heard many stories about students who are struggling with various issues, confiding in her.  Whether they need someone to talk to, personal advice, or just want to hold one of her many sloths, they know that she is there for them. When it comes to the students’ well-being, Corporal Nash-St. John always goes above and beyond.  This was most evident when she partnered with the school district’s social worker to build a food pantry at the middle school.  While working on the food pantry, she developed an idea to place an app on students’ school-issued iPads, allowing those who are struggling at home with obtaining food and other necessities, the opportunity to anonymously request those much-needed items.  This pantry has proven time and time again, to have a positive impact on students’ lives.

As a result of her hard work and dedication, Corporal Nash-St. John was promoted to the rank of Corporal in August of 2021.  Since that time, her work ethic, desire to take on difficult challenges, and willingness to accept new responsibilities impressed both school and department staff.  Even when tasked with things outside of her comfort zone, she always steps up to the plate, works hard, and knocks it out of the park.  As a testament to her desire to take on difficult challenges and her commitment to serving the youth, in the Spring of 2021, she began working on a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis on children.

After an organizational change in the department in January of this year, Corporal Nash-St. John was appointed the acting supervisor for the Youth Services Unit.  We have since enjoyed watching her grow as a supervisor over the past few months, and are proud to announce that she has been promoted to the rank of Sergeant.  Commensurate with her promotion, Sergeant Nash-St. John will be assigned to the Youth Services Unit. Congratulations, Sergeant Samantha Nash-St. John!

Scott Sickles

Chief Dull congratulates Sergeant Sickles (photo Courtney Cole).

Corporal Scott Sickles began his career with the Excelsior Springs Police Department on July 9, 2018, as an officer assigned to the Patrol Division.  Almost immediately, his unwavering commitment to the law enforcement profession was evident.  Corporal Sickles displayed a strong work ethic combined with a desire to learn and improve his overall knowledge within the criminal justice field.  Corporal Sickles also exhibited early ambitions of obtaining a leadership position within the department by indicating a strong interest in the patrol sergeant position.  By the end of 2019, Corporal Sickles took the first step in achieving that goal when he accepted a position now designated as Corporal.

As Corporal Sickles improved his overall job knowledge, he began showing an interest in sharing his acquired knowledge with others, as well as assisting with various administrative tasks. His propensity to help others did not go unnoticed and in April of 2021, Corporal Sickles was selected to be one of the Department’s Field Training Officers.  During his time as a Field Training Officer, Corporal Sickles successfully trained multiple officers and made a significant impact on them at a crucial point in their careers. As Corporal Sickles continued to develop as an officer, so did his interest in investigative work.  This interest resulted in a marked improvement in his investigative skills, which culminated in him being transferred to the Investigations Unit on October 25, 2021.

Sergeant Sickles is pinned with his new badge by his father (photo Courtney Cole).

Within a couple of months of his transfer, the Patrol Division was confronted with an acute staffing shortage.  Once again, Corporal Sickles’ selfless character and commitment to the department were on display when he volunteered to step away from an assignment that he truly enjoyed, in order to help the department at this juncture.  Since that time, Corporal Sickles has continued to help train additional officers and took on a role as an acting sergeant in patrol.  

As a result of his hard work, it is my pleasure to announce Corporal Scott Sickles’ promotion to the rank of Sergeant.  Commensurate with his promotion, Sergeant Sickles will be assigned to the Patrol Division. Congratulations, Sergeant Scott Sickles!


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