Law enforcement officers are honored in December awards ceremonies

Pictured from left are MPD’s Officer Jake Burkett, Capt. Russell Graham, Chief Craig Knight and Officer Tim Owens.

The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and Moulton Police Department each held year-end Christmas celebrations and awards ceremonies for their officers this December.

Last week, the Sheriff’s Office honored department employees with several awards. Sheriff Max Sanders said the ceremony was held to show appreciation to county officers and law enforcement workers.

Sanders presented Officer of the Year awards to deputies William Dawson and Justin Sapp. He said deputies Connor Melson and Kris Long also received Life Saving awards.

The department’s former Capt. Amard Martin, who retired in April, was the recipient of a Meritorious Service Award, and Sanders presented a letter of appreciation to Correctional deputy Beverly Phillips. Sanders also presented employee of the month honors to each of the Sheriff’s Department dispatchers.

On Saturday, Dec. 18, Moulton Chief Craig Knight said his department held an inaugural Christmas Dinner and Awards Ceremony for its officers as well.

An Officer of the Year Award was presented to MPD officer Tim Owens for his work in leading the department in several cases throughout the year, Knight said.

“Tim has showed so much determination and drive to help take drugs off of the streets and has always had a strong drive to be the best police officer that he can be,” the police chief said. “He is one of the most thorough and competent officers that I have had the opportunity to work with.”

Knight also presented Capt. Russell Graham with the Chief’s Award of Excellence, citing Graham’s dedication to the department and to Moulton citizens. 

“Capt. Graham not only is the investigator for the Police Department, but he also helps with the day-to-day administrative procedures in the Department,” Knight said. “I depend on Capt. Graham to help with so many things that we do each and every day. He is always helping to do things—behind the scenes—and I am very thankful to have him as our captain.”

Officer Jake Burkett, who is one the MPD’s youngest officers, was presented the “Satire” Participation Award for “always striving to show his worth,” Knight added.

“(Officer Burkett) is always doing his best for our Department. He missed out on receiving one of the other awards, and I wanted to show the ‘lighter’ side of Law Enforcement,” Knight said. 

Although only three officers received recognition at the ceremony, Knight said every department employee is appreciated and valued for all that they do.

“Our Department has made a lot of changes and a lot of progress in the past year,” he said. “We have done that together and I am very thankful to be a part of the Moulton Police Department family.”

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