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Rotary honors police officers, medical personnel

Top law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel were recognized Tuesday by the Salisbury Rotary Club.
– Bobby Burleyson was named Firefighter of the Year by members of the Salisbury Fire Department. Chief Bob Parnell said Burleyson joined the department in 1985 and will retire in July after 25 years. Burleyson is “one of our best fire engineers,” Parnell said.
– Chet Hedrick was named Rookie Firefighter of the Year. He joined the city department last September and “has a passion for the job that is rarely found,” Parnell said.
– Bo Geter, who is retiring July 1 after being with the city more than 31 years, was also applauded by the group.
– EMT-Paramedic Althea E. Smith was named Veteran Officer of the Year for Rowan Emergency Medical Services. An assistant supervisor, she has 22 years of service, FrankThomason, director of Emergency Services, said. She is clear and direct, supports her coworkers and would be a good role model for anyone interested in becoming a paramedic.
– EMT-Parademic Daniel E. Hallman was named Rookie Officer of the Year. He recently served in Iraq with the N.C. Air National Guard, said Thomason, and is known for being highly professional, staying calm and giving excellent patient care.
– Wiley Lamm was named Veteran Officer of the Year for Salisbury Police. He began working in law enforcement in East Spencer in 1989 and rose to lieutenant there. He joined Salisbury Police in 1993 as a patrol officer and then master patrol officer, and now serves as a victim advocate. “He is one of the few that I’ve never had a complaint on,” said Mark Wilhelm, police chief.
– Rebecca Sexton was the Salisbury Police Rookie Officer of the Year. She joined as a patrol officer in 2006 and is an “excellent police officer who goes above and beyond,” said Chief Wilhelm.
– Charles Hess was named Veteran Officer of the Year for the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office. Employed there since 2003, he is the master maintenance officer for the Detention Center and has been invaluable, said George Wilhelm, sheriff.
– Deputy Jagger Naves was named Rookie Officer of the Year for the Sheriff’s Office. With the force since February 2007 on patrol, Naves made 191 arrests in 2008, including 24 drug arrests and five driving while impaired arrests, the sheriff said. He joined the Community Safety Unit in January and so far has 41 arrests, including 26 on drug charges and six on DWI. The sheriff said Naves has a strong work ethic.
– Trooper Denny Morgan was named Trooper of the Year by First Sgt. Barry Hower of the Highway Patrol. Hower said he stole Morgan from the Salisbury Police Department in June 2006, and last year the trooper issued more than 1,100 tickets in Rowan County. Morgan also is a veteran of the war in Iraq.

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