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Sheriff honors top staff at annual luncheon
Rowan named employee of the year
DCSO Banquet pic
The Dawson County Sheriffs Office recognized its top employees during the departments annual Christmas celebration on Friday. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

The Dawson County Sheriff's Office recognized its top employees during the department's annual Christmas luncheon and celebration on Friday.

Longtime employee and patrol commander Maj. Greg Rowan was selected as the department's overall employee of the year.

The selection was based on nominations Sheriff Billy Carlisle received from his staff as to who should be honored with the award.

"A lot of the responses I got were about how good of a leader he was and what a good job he does in patrol and how he pushes his divisions to work together," he said.

Carlisle and Rowan have worked together for nearly two decades, beginning when there were only about 5,000 residents in the county, and the department had just 10 employees.

"Greg has been a big asset to the county over the years, both with the sheriff's office and the fire department," Carlisle said. "And he's been a really good friend to me."

Employees, who went above and beyond during 2014 for their respective divisions, were also recognized.

Russell Lowery was named Patrol Officer of the Year.

"Talk about a dedicated employee...always does what he needs to do," Rowan said.

Maj. Brandy Branson said his choice of Randy Harkness for Sheriff's Services Officer of the Year was an obvious choice by the number of people who continuously ask about Randy Harkness when they enter the courthouse.

"He's very dedicated, very polite to the citizens. Everybody that comes in wants to know where Randy is if he's not at the metal detector," he said.

Jail commander Maj. Jeff Johnson presented Misty Henry with Detention Officer of the Year.

"She's one of those that doesn't complain. She doesn't gripe. She always does what's needed to be done," he said.

Maj. Ray Goodie, division commander for criminal investigations, chose Bobby Samples as Investigator of the Year.

"This officer does a really good job. He had to step up this year and take over the evidence room," Goodie said.

Capt. Tony Wooten chose to recognize Steven Swofford as School Resource Officer of the Year.

"All of our resource officers are good, but I don't think everybody knows that Steven is responsible for three different schools. He does an amazing job," Wooten said.

Communication officer Kris White was selected as her division's employee of the year.

Debra Wimpy, 9-1-1 director, said the veteran dispatcher always goes above the call of duty to help her fellow workers.