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Rotary honors top veteran and rookie officers

The Salisbury Rotary Club honored the area’s top law enforcement, fire and emergency services personnel Tuesday during its meeting at the Rotary Hut.

Leaders from the Highway Patrol, Rowan County Emergency Services, the Sheriff’s Office, Salisbury Fire Department and Salisbury Police helped present plaques to their top veterans and rookies.

State Highway Patrol Troop E District 3

• Trooper Brad Potts, veteran trooper of the year,  has been with the Highway Patrol since May 1988, working in Troy, Raleigh and Henderson before returning to his home county of Rowan in 2001. Potts will soon retire after spending the last 15 years working the roads. Lt. Travis Baity said Potts had been a huge asset by being a hard worker, dedicated law enforcement professional and a person the public loves. “It seems like everywhere we go, someone knows Brad Potts and has a good word to say about him,” Baity said. Potts handles all school bus complaints, serves subpoenas and still continues to take calls and investigate collisions.

• Shane Herrin, rookie trooper of the year, has been with the patrol since May 2014 and does a good job, according to Baity. Herrin was not able to attend the awards presentation.

Rowan County Emergency Services

• Capt. D. Reid Overcash, veteran EMT-paramedic of the year, was in the Marine Reserves for several years and joined Emergency Services in 1988. He has been a shift captain and stepped up to provide additional levels of service. He shows care and compassion for his job and the citizens he serves, Thomason said, and plans to retire at the end of this year with 30 years in emergency services.

• Lindsay D. Campbell, rookie EMT-paramedic of the year, always knew she wanted to work in the health care field, said Frank Thomason, chief of Emergency Services. She has courage and determination and has the guts to do jobs others won’t do, he said. She has been with the agency since April 2015.

Rowan County Sheriff’s Office

• Master Deputy William “Ryan” Walker, veteran officer of the year, joined the Sheriff’s Office in 2001 and was promoted to master deputy in 2007. In addition to serving as a resource officer at West Rowan High School, Walker is involved with the office’s Youth Leadership Summer Camp, the Shop with a Cop program and Camp Ready disaster preparedness and training camp, presented in conjunction with the Red Cross.

• Deputy Gerald “Greysen” Gordy, rookie officer of the year, started at the county detention center in 2013. Sheriff Kevin Auten described Gordy as a humble man, and said he and his brother always treated people the way you would want your mother to be treated. To date he has investigated 43 incidents, clearing 32 of them with arrests, served more than 100 arrest warrants and has responded to more than 400 calls. He has more than 1,600 training hours

Salisbury Fire Department

• Engineer Stephen Carter, veteran firefighter of the year, has been with Salisbury Fire since August 2009, and as engineer gets to drive the big rigs. He is acting officer of Engine 4 C shift at Station 4 on Statesville Boulevard and is over the hazmat team. He has certification as an EMT and hazmat technician. The letter nominating Carter said he welcomed every new employee and made them feel appreciated, according to Chief Bob Parnell. “It is obvious he doesn’t do this job for the glory or recognition, but because he is a decent human being.”

• Fire Control Specialist Michael Lanning, rookie firefighter of the year, started as a part-time firefighter in December 2014 and was promoted to full time the following March. He is an EMT, a certified hazmat technician  and has earned several high-level certifications and recently became a fire and rescue instructor at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. Parnell said Lanning was the most technically sound new officer in his experience.

Salisbury Police Department

• Sgt. Corey Brooks, veteran officer of the year, is a highly respected member of Adam Team, said Capt. Shelia Lingle. He serves on the Police Department’s Honor Guard, is a liaison with the Police Athletic League and is on the department’s recruiting team. This past year he responded to a call about an unconscious person in a car, and when he got there found a woman who was not breathing. He performed CPR and the woman survived, Lingle said.

• Officer Richard Rooplal, young officer of the year, has strived to learn and better himself since joining the department in 2014. He treats fellow officers with respect and is always concerned about victims, Lingle said, and has been named the department’s newest detective.

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