Rutherford County Sheriff's Deputy Sgt. Stephen Ellis recently was awarded the Advanced Professional Certification. Presented by the North Carolina Sheriff's Education and Training Standards Commission, the Advanced Professional Certificate is the highest level of professional certification issued by the North Carolina Sheriff's Education and Training Standards Commission to deputy sheriffs. It is awarded to deputies who have completed the required years of service, professional training and continuing education. Sgt. Ellis has more than 11 years experience in law enforcement and is currently a sergeant on the road patrol. He is pictured with Rutherford County Sheriff Chris Francis.