Optimists name LaGrange firefighter and officer of the year

Published 9:00 am Thursday, May 25, 2023

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The Optimist Club of LaGrange presented awards to their officer and (city) firefighter of the year during the LaGrange council meeting on Tuesday evening.

Local Optimist Club president Ralph Howard presented the awards to an already packed crowd due to a slate of officer promotions.

The awards are given out annually to deserving law enforcement officers and firefighters as part of the club’s Respect for Law program which was created in 1965.

“Since the inception of the Respect for Law program, it has been an important part of the LaGrange Optimist Club. Each year, we have the honor of working with city, fire and police departments to recognize one individual from each department that goes above and beyond on their duties to make Troup County a brighter and more optimistic place for our youth,” Howard said.

Senior Police Officer James “Jim” Davison, of the LaGrange Police Department, was named Optimist Club Officer of the Year.

Davison has been employed by the department for 27 years and currently works in the training division. He is also a K-9 handler and is one of the first members of the LPD Community Outreach Unit.

“He also helps run all of our annual in-service training, our quarterly training, leads all of our driver training as well as our civilian training,” Sgt. Josh Clower said.

Along with helping maintain the training center and range, Davison helps lead the department’s Citizen’s Police Academy and teaches active shooter training.

“Jim has a true passion for what he does on a daily basis. He truly cares about, not only the citizens that work and live in LaGrange, but also the men and women of the agency that we work for,” Clower said.

The city Firefighter of the Year award was presented to LaGrange Firefighter Joshua Williams.

New LaGrange Fire Chief Willie Bradfield thanked the LaGrange Optimist Club for their recognition of firefighters throughout the years.

“I want to thank Joshua for the dedication and passion he has for the fire service,” Bradfield said, noting Williams is a great example of the department’s dedication to serving the citizens of LaGrange.