The G.W. Law Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award presented annually by members of the Fulton Rotary Club is always a well-deserved honor.
"This is the 20th time we are awarding the G.W. Law award, named for Sheriff George W. Law," said Charles Anderson, director of the Callaway County Ambulance District. "It was established in 1998 as a means for the Rotary club to show respect."
Service above self: Recognition of that character is the main component of the award, Anderson added.
"And thank you," he said.
The final nominees this year come from the Callaway County Sheriff's Office and were nominated by supervisors.
"Each one is worthy of receiving this award," Anderson said. "We really wish we could have awarded two this year."
Lt. Matthew Palmer, a domestic violence investigator, nominated his co-worker Bettina Korte-Sweede, also an investigator. She was part of an investigation last fall after a man made serious threats that could have resulted in injury or death. A search warrant was obtained and officers found a completed silencer, one in the process of being made, and an explosive device.
Two nominations were given for Sgt. Ryan Lacey, first-shift supervisor and field training officer who continually goes above and beyond the scope of his duties. He was nominated by Lt. Curtis Hall and Sheriff Clay Chism, and was named the law officer of the year.
"He represents our community well," Chism said in his nomination letter.
Lacey is married to Kasi Lacey, executive director of the Wellness Center at Westminster College.
"Thank you to the Fulton Rotary Club for having this event every year," Lacey said, accepting the award. "If you want to look at great leadership (at the Callaway County Sheriff's Office), look from the top down."
He also mentioned his fellow nominee.
"Bettina does great work," Lacey added. "She did save a lot of lives by paying attention to detail."
He also thanked his family for supporting his work.