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Sheriff celebrates top employees
DCSO EoYr pic
Dawson County Sheriff Billy Carlisle recognizes Melissa Brown as Patrol Officer of the Year. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

Service awards

Five years

Alex Belafi

Jason Blackwell

Melissa Brown

Larry Busher

Amanda Hall

Dan Ramsey

Jessica Rucker

Joseph Schultz

Debra Soderquist

Zachary Stewart


15 years

Laura Bishop

Todd Day

Johnny Holtzclaw

Miki Petrella

Steven Swofford


20 years

Randy Harkness


25 years

Sheriff Billy Carlisle

The Dawson County Sheriff's Office recognized its tops employees last week during the department's annual Christmas celebration at Peach Brandy Cottage.

Sheriff Billy Carlisle said the men and women selected as employees of the year for their divisions went above and beyond during 2012.

Maj. Brandy Branson said his choice of Velma Finley for Sheriff's Services Officer of the Year was clear and simple.

"She treats everybody like we should all treat each other, and that's what makes her stand out above everybody else. She's a joy to work with," Branson said.

In accepting the award, Finley told her co-workers that she is blessed to have them in her life.

"I love every one of you," she said.

Communication officer Kristan Bean was selected as her division's employee of the year.

Debra Wimpy, 9-1-1 director, said Bean is an asset to the department.

"She came to us from another agency and is dependable and very knowledgeable. And everyone just loves her," Wimpy said.

Melissa Brown was named Patrol Officer of the Year.

A veteran officer, Brown requested a transfer to the patrol division from criminal investigations earlier this year.

"She came to us, because of her passion and because she missed patrolling the streets and keeping the people safe," said Capt. Tony Wooten, division commander.

Carlisle said he continuously receives calls from citizens offering commendation for Brown's work as a patrol officer.

"I got a call just this morning about her from a lady who said she is blind and this officer came out and did everything she could to help her," Carlisle said.

Addressing Brown, Carlisle said: "This lady was real thankful for what you did for her last night. She said you went out of your way for her."

Jail commander Maj. Jeff Johnson presented Sgt. Amanda Hall with Detention Officer of the Year.

"I appreciate your hard work. I appreciate your dedication," he told her as she accepted the award.

Lt. Ray Goodie, division commander for criminal investigations, chose Sgt. Dan Ramsey as Investigator of the Year.

"Every year, its is kind of a difficult thing to do to pick one investigator out of every one of them that work so hard all year," Goodie said. "(Dan) continually works to improve himself and improve the people that work for him."

Capt. Tony Wooten chose to recognize Stan Harrison as School Resource Officer of the Year.

"I've never seen a day that Stan wasn't doing everything in his power to make Robinson Elementary School and the students safe," Wooten said. "He always goes above and beyond his duties."

Each year, the sheriff's staff members are asked to nominate a co-worker as the department's overall employee of the year.

Carlisle said when he asked for nominations, he also asked his staff to provide reasons why their nomination should receive the honor.

"I kept getting e-mails back with one name on them and that's Aleisha Rucker," he said.

In addition to her duties as a communication officer, Rucker has taken on the role of the department's in-house IT and computer programming specialist.

"She goes above and beyond not only to benefit the sheriff's office, but (also) the employees and the citizens of the county," Carlisle said.

Rucker said she was honored to be recognized by her peers.

"We've accomplished a lot at this sheriff's office this year, and I'm grateful I had the opportunity to assist," she said.

Employees were also recognized for their years of service.