KEVIN SPROUL: A pair of outstanding employees

Feb. 28—As your Sheriff, I have been truly humbled by the incredible support I receive from the community. I am equally humbled by the support I receive from my staff.

The Sheriff's Office has so many outstanding employees who are dedicated to this community that it is often a challenging task for supervisors to select an Employee of the Month. Each month, agency supervisors choose two Employees of the Month: one from the Sheriff's Office Field Operations Division and one from the Jail Division. Then, at the end of the year, all of the employees vote to select the Employees of the Year.

The fact that the Employees of the Year are chosen by their peers makes the honor even more special.

This year's Employees of the Year are truly deserving of the recognition. Because folks in the community often don't get the chance to see these great employees, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a little about them.

Officer Charlotte Bunn started with the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office Jail Division as a detention officer in January 2017. She was competitively selected in September 2019 as our Human Resources Coordinator, which is responsible for the process of recruiting, hiring, and onboarding new employees.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the jail had so many vacancies we were forced to implement mandatory overtime. Bunn began working, tirelessly recruiting new staff, attending career fairs and implementing creative ways to attract people. She even took the initiative to recruit on her days off while at stores, festivals, sporting events, etc.

Bunn also was doing her part by working overtime in the jail and assisting our Training Division with our New Hire Training Program. Due to her extraordinary efforts, we were able to alleviate mandatory overtime.

Lt. Jason Carter began his career with the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office Jail Division as a detention officer in December 2006. He was promoted to jail housing corporal in June 2009, transferred to the Uniform Division in the Sheriff's Office in May 2011, then transferred to the Albany/Dougherty Drug Unit as an investigator in August 2012. He transferred back to the Sheriff's Office as a sergeant in our Uniform Division in March 2015 and was promoted to lieutenant in our Uniform Division in April 2019. He transferred to Investigations as a lieutenant in 2021.

In January 2017, two deadly tornados struck Dougherty County. Carter drove 30 miles from his home into the storm to report for duty. During Hurricane Michael in 2018, he worked several 16- and 18-hour days to ensure the citizens were safe and to bring a sense of security after the storm. He is the drone pilot for the Sheriff's Office and has led several high-profile investigations for the agency. He has advanced in his career by becoming a law enforcement instructor and teaching classes on a wide range of topics.

I should also note that there were two dozen employees who received votes for Employee of the Year. This is a real testament to the quality of our employees. I am incredibly proud of and grateful for each person who takes up the challenge to serve their community as a member of the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office. I want to thank each citizen for giving me the honor of leading such an outstanding team. If we can ever be of assistance, please do not hesitate to call.