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Lyons City Council, GAPC Honor Chief Wesley Walker

Lyons City Council, GAPC  Honor Chief Wesley Walker Lyons City Council, GAPC  Honor Chief Wesley Walker

August 12, 2020, is a date that is indelibly etched into Wesley Walker’s mind as a very happy memory. The Lyons police chief was honored last week as a resolution proclaiming August 12, 2020, Chief Wesley Walker Day was passed by the Lyons City Council. In addition to the council’s actions, members of the Georgia Association of Police Chiefs continued from page

(GAPC) and Walker’s family attended the council session on August 11 to add their tributes and congratulations.

Walker, who has served as Lyons’ top law enforcement officer since 2012, was cited for “faithfully serving in public agencies across the state of Georgia with distinction since 1987.” He was also praised for implementing best practices within his department to improve operational efficiencies and to better ensure the community’s citizens and officers are well protected. “Chief Walker has worked diligently to improve the police department’s relationship with the citizens of Lyons by developing a culture of quality service and community-based policing.”

In addition to being instrumental in improving the Drug Abuse Resistance and Education (DARE) Program in the Toombs County School System, the chief has demonstrated his commitment to public service over and above his job requirements by being actively involved in local civic and community organizations, both as a member of the Lions Club Board of Directors and Chair of its Membership Committee; as a member of the Board of Directors for Family Connections; and as member of the Board of Directors of Family Intervention, which provides mentoring for teens after school.

Walker has been a member of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police (GACP) since 2010, rising quickly through the leadership ranks of that organization to be elected its president in 2019. During his tenure as president of the GACP, Walker “faced unprecedented challenges, and helped reorganize that organization to meet those challenges by, among other things, the selection of a new executive director, and appointment of a new general counsel to better represent the needs of police agencies in Georgia…” The proclamation noted, “President Walker performed all these actions in a quiet, humble, empathetic, and professional manner that reflects his character and untiring commitment to service in his community. (His) leadership and exemplary actions will for years to come continue to be a positive influence on the State of Georgia through his past and future service with the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, and on the City of Lyons through his continuing service as the Chief of Police.”

Proof of Walker’s impact on the community was exhibited when, on July 7, he presented the council with a certificate naming Lyons the 18th safest city in Georgia in 2019. The distinction is based on data collected by Safe Wise, a national organization that tracks crime reporting. Lyons jumped 92 spots from its ranking in the previous year. Walker was born in Brunswick and spent his early childhood in Darien. He later lived in Nashville where he graduated from Berrien County High School. He obtained a degree in criminal justice from Valdosta State College. Walker served in various capacities in the criminal justice system, including as a probation officer, a parole officer, a sheriff’s deputy in Thomas and Camden counties, with the campus police at College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick, and as chief of the Homerville Police Department before assuming his current post. He is immediate past president of the GAPC and also serves on that organization’s board. Walker said he was entirely surprised by the proclamation but knew something unexpected was about to happen when he saw his family and members of the GAPC arrive and take their seats in the meeting room last week. Walker, who regularly attends the council meetings said, “I expected the GAPC board to be in town for a board meeting, but I did not know why they were showing up for the council meeting,” he said.

“Honorable, humble, professional, a man of integrity: These are the terms I associate with Wesley Walker,” said current GAPC President Bruce Hedley of Lilburn. “Wesley served as president with the highest standards. We are proud of Wesley.” Councilman John Moore, Jr., echoed Hedley’s opinion, “What he (Walker) has done with this department is above and beyond. It makes me proud to be a part of this com­continued from page

munity.” Councilman Larry Griggers, who was attending the session via phone, also voiced praise for Walker. “I am so impressed with what he has done. He has brought great honor to us by rising through the ranks of the GAPC and doing the work he has done through this association.”

Walker was touched by the tribute. His sons, Stetson and Spencer Walker of Camden County, and his sisters Holly Jones of Lyons and Angie Eaton of Brunswick, were present, along with Walker’s friends and fellow board members from the

GAPC. “When I came to Lyons, it was a blessing to me because of the way the community embraced me. It made my job easier to have the support of the mayor, the council and the community. It is the best move I ever made in my life and I consider Lyons my home,” Walker said. In other business the council approved: An amendment to an ordinance governing the time and days of meetings. The ordinance had originally specified the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. as the offi cial meeting date and time, but the council approved an amendment which established the meeting date and time as the first Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. An alcohol license application by Cookie Boss Bakery, Melissa Hall, applicant, to serve alcohol by the drink per the Lyons City Council ordinance. The application met all requirements of the city ordinance. Two appointments to the Recreation Advisory Board for members whose one-year terms expired in July. The Recreation Board, Recreation Director, and Recreation Liaison supported the appointment of Phelisha Caraway and Dirk Brantley to a full three-year term on the Advisory Board.

HONORING CHIEF WALKER — Members of the Georgia Association of Police Chiefs attended the Lyons City Council meeting August 11 to pay tribute to Lyons Police Chief Wesley Walker, center, holding plaque. The council passed a resolution proclaiming August 12, 2020, as Chief Wesley Walker Day. Shown, from left are Chief Bruce Carlisle, Lavonia; Chief Stoney Mathis, Fairburn; Chief Mark Scott, Americus; Chief Walker; Lyons Mayor Willis NeSmith; Chief Bruce Hedley, Lilburn; and Chief Alan Rowe, Valdosta State University.

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