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Coleman named Officer of the Year

Statesboro Police Department also honors Woodrum, others

Coleman named Officer of the Year

Coleman named Officer of the Year

Advanced Patrol Officer Craig Coleman...

Advanced Patrol Officer Craig Coleman was honored Tuesday in front of City Council as the Statesboro Police Department’s 2013 Officer of the Year, while Capt. Tom Woodrum received the Meritorious Service Medal, which is not presented every year.

Public Safety Director Wendell Turner and police Maj. Scott Brunson presented awards to 10 individuals during the council meeting.

Coleman has been with the department 13 years total, having left once and returned.

“He goes above and beyond the call of duty when answering his calls to service. Craig is a mentor for his shift, always maintaining a positive outlook and cheerful disposition and respectful both to his supervisors and the public he serves,”

Turner read from the nomination submitted by Coleman’s supervisors.

The nomination also credited him with a good rapport with the public and timely and accurate paperwork, among other

In mid-2013, Coleman arrested a woman who had left her 3-year-old child alone in an apartment while distributing narcotics. Coleman also located the child, who was placed in the care of another relative, Turner said. More than 8,000 pills of various kinds were discovered inside the apartment, he said.

“While performing his duties and responding to calls, he ensures that these duties are done accurately and fully investigates each call with no partiality,” was another quote from the Coleman nomination. And another: “The department needs more officers of his caliber.”

Meanwhile, Woodrum, after some years of previous service with the Statesboro police, left and served as an investigator with the District Attorney’s office for 15 years, but returned to the Police Department in 2011 to serve as captain. He leads the Patrol Bureau, with about 48 officers.

A group including shift supervisors, with reportedly more than 100 years collective law enforcement experience, submitted the nomination. Among other things, they credited Woodrum with working 60-70 hours a week.

“Over the past two years, we have been afforded the opportunity to work under a great leader,” stated the document read Tuesday. “Capt. Tom Woodrum has selflessly served the city … and has truly displayed each of our five core values: commitment, compassion, leadership, integrity and professionalism.”

As a surprise, the Police Department brought members of Woodrum’s family — including his wife, Dr. Jody Woodrum, his mother and others — to the meeting.

The Supervisor of the Year Award went to Lt. Charles Forney, who supervises about 14 officers on a patrol shift.

“He really rallies his troops, and he holds them to a high standard and also our core values,” Turner said.

Detective Keith Holloway was honored as 2013 Detective of the Year, and has received the award several times in the past.

Communications Officer Kelly Yaughn is Support Person of the Year. Rookie of the Year is Officer Louis Parker.

Awards for 20 years service went to Detective Tommy Brown and to Turner. Brown also received the Top Gun Award for achieving the department’s highest score in annual qualifying with pistols on the firing range.

In a unique recognition, the Department of Public Safety also presented police Cpl. Dena Colson and Fire Prevention Chief Chris Colson a framed copy of the “Love on the Line” cover story about them from Moments magazine, which is published monthly in the Statesboro Herald and distributed in boxes around town.

Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9454.

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