City commends Oxford officers who worked on kidnapping case

·3 min read

Sep. 15—OXFORD — Eleven officers who work as part of the East Metro Area Crime Center and the Oxford Police Aviation Support Unit were given commendations Tuesday night for their efforts in rescuing a 75-year-old woman after she had been kidnapped on July 4.

Tony Lamar White, 47, of Anniston, was captured July 5 by the Kentucky Highway Patrol and remains in custody at the Calhoun County Jail under four separate million-dollar bonds for the charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree sodomy and rape by forcible compulsion.

White is also being held without bond for Talladega County after being charged with similar crimes against a 67-year-old Munford woman in 2013 after DNA evidence from the Talladega County case matched that found in the July 4 case.

The recognition of the officers' efforts was shared by Police Chief Bill Partridge and Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade during Tuesday's City Council meeting.

"Ever since I have been here, the city has financed the things that keep our city safe and made our city a place where people want to live, shop and play," Partridge said. "One of those things was the establishment of the East Metro Area Crime Center and our aviation unit."

He said those items proved their worth on July 4th as "they were created to save people's lives."

"On that day, the sheriff's office — a partner in the EMAC — called us and asked for assistance on a missing person they thought was a kidnapping victim and it turned out it was," Partridge said. "It was less than an hour and 15 minutes from the time they contacted us the staff of the EMAC and the aviation division had located the elderly kidnapping victim and was able to return her to her family. I don't think you can have a much better outcome than that."

He added his efforts as a supervisor is to place personnel "in areas where they excel."

"These men and women at EMAC and in aviation excel in what they do every day," Partridge said. "July 4th was proof of that."

Wade told the City Council he was "a little jealous to see what you do for your city."

"We lose people to Oxford and you'd think I'd be upset," Wade said. "I'm super proud we put out a good product. We are never going to hold them back from a place that pays them for what they're worth."

He noted the day marked the kidnap victim's birthday.

"Thank God she gets to have another one," Wade said.

"It was the best day in the world when we heard on the radio she was found and that's in large part because you believed in this investment that bleeds over into the county," Wade said.

Both Partridge and Wade said they have a very good working relationship.

"I believe law enforcement in Calhoun County has become a large team," Wade said. "That's largely due to what is going on here in Oxford and from the bottom of my heart I am very thankful you are willing to help and for what you do."