Dekmar to receive inaugural Hope Giver of the Year award

Published 4:00 am Thursday, April 25, 2019

LaGrange Chief of Police Louis Dekmar will be recognized as the 2019 Hope Giver of the Year. This inaugural award will be presented at the HOPE GIVERS Music Festival and will highlight Chief Dekmar’s commitment to supporting mental health, as well as his caring and compassion to his community and employees throughout his public service career. Since 1995, Chief Dekmar has served as Chief of Police and Chief of Public Safety for the City of LaGrange. Before that appointment, he served as Police Chief for the City of Morrow, and prior to that served for ten years in law enforcement in Wyoming.

“Chief Dekmar epitomizes the type of person who is a Hope Giver in his personal and professional life,” said Tamlin Hall, Festival Coordinator and Founder of the IAMHOLDENON Organization. “He has built a national audience in the way his leadership provides hope and inspiration through positive mental wellness.”

The presentation will be made during the Hope Givers Music Festival, held at Sweetland Amphitheatre in LaGrange on Saturday, May 11.

Dekmar, for his part, will be accepting the nomination on behalf of the police department, as well as the faith community and nonprofits that have partnered with the LDP to help in assisting the department’s efforts to support mental health.

“When I was notified of the award a week or so ago, I wanted to accept it on behalf of the police department and the faith community, as well as the other nonprofits and agencies that we’ve worked with over the last 10-12 years,” Dekmar said. “Really the ones who brought focus to this in our community were the police officers, the faith community stepping up afterwards and helping us out. Any recognition I’ve received is recognition for the entire police department and other organizations we have worked with.”

Earlier this year, Dekmar received the National Council for Behavioral Health’s Visionary Leadership award for an international initiative involving the police response to mental illness. He has also received the National Constables and Marshalls Association’s “Service Above and Beyond” award.

The HOPE GIVERS Mental Wellness & Music Festival will also include music, speakers and activities throughout the day, including the NAMI Family & Children Wellness Zone. Speakers will include Taylor Wesley, 2015 Miss Auburn University; Kris Brooks, NASCAR Yoga Instructor; Josh Rhye, Pastor at ThreeLife Church in LaGrange; Kat Dolan, TEDx Speaker and Performance Poet along with many others. Starting at 4:00 PM, the Sweetland Main Stage will feature music by The War and Treaty, Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors and Judah & The Lion.

The festival is from 12pm-10pm. More information on speaker times, activities, and performances is available at