Optimists name St. Clair officer of year
By Shelley Smith
SALISBURY — Lt. Randy St. Clair of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office has been in law enforcement for more than 30 years, and could have retired years ago.
He decided to stay, and his dedication was recognized Tuesday at the Salisbury Optimist Club Respect for Law Enforcement Breakfast as he was named the Paul G. Wilson Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
St. Clair, a 1978 graduate of South Rowan High School, earned an associate’s degree at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, as well as his Basic Law Enforcement Training, and is an original member of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team, founded in 1986.
“I’ve had great people around me and working under me for my entire career,” St. Clair said.
Sheriff Kevin Auten said St. Clair “exemplified professionalism and walks the walk.”
“He’s just a quality person that believes in upholding the integrity and professionalism of the job,” Auten said. “He’s not a flashy guy. A lot of people in the public aren’t going to know who Randy St. Clair is.
“He’s a good leader and mentor for the young officers.”
Eleven additional officers from each law enforcement agency in Rowan County were also awarded the title of officer of the year:
• Officer Andrew Rowland, with the China Grove Police Department since 2010.
• Sgt. Darren Westmoreland, with the East Spencer Police Department for 8 months.
• Officer Matthew Milette, with the Granite Quarry Police Department for since 2007.
• Officer Jeremy Page, with the Kannapolis Police Department since 2005.
• Officer Michael File, with the Landis Police Department since 2007.
• Trooper Anthony Carpenter, with the N.C. State Highway Patrol since 2004.
• Officer Ronald Canup, with the Rockwell Police Department since 2008.
• 1st Lt. Timothy Wyrick, with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office since 1990.
• Detective Travis Shulenburger, with the Salisbury Police Department since 2004.
• Sgt. Eric Ennis, with the Spencer Police Department since 1998.
• Officer David Taylor, with the V.A. Medical Center Police since 2008.
Speaker and presenter Dr. Karl Hales told the officers he hopes the recognition shows how much they are appreciated.
“I can tell you that across this country Optimist clubs are regularly recognizing, identifying and appreciating what you do,” he said.
Guest speaker, Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook, said she believes working together as a team helps achieve a common goal, and spoke of recent sentencing of drug traffickers and habitual felons.
“We are working hand-in-hand with you identifying, targeting and tracking habitual felons in our community,” she said.
And she says a past child abuse case she worked on with Kannapolis Police Officer Jamie Beach taught her a “valuable lesson.”
“We are all charged with protecting those who cannot protect themselves,” she said.
The breakfast was held at First Presbyterian Church in Salisbury.