CPD names its 2013 em­ploy­ees of the year

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - DANIELLE EVER­SON de­v­er­son@cov­news.com

Three em­ploy­ees with the Cov­ing­ton Po­lice Depart­ment were rec­og­nized by their col­leagues for their hard work dur­ing 2013 and through­out the years.

The em­ployee of the year was voted on by CPD em­ploy­ees in three di­vi­sions—sup­port ser­vices, pa­trol, and the ad­min­is­tra­tion/crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion di­vi­sion.

Sgt. Chuck Groover with Sup­port Ser­vices, Of­fi­cer An­thony Walden in the Pa­trol Di­vi­sion and ad­min­is­tra­tive as­sis­tant Lerea Neely were named CPD’s three em­ploy­ees of the year. The an­nounce­ment was made at the Po­lice Depart­ment’s an­nual ban­quet and awards cer­e­mony, which was held Dec. 5.

Each of the three em­ploy­ees shared their expe- ri­ences with the Cov­ing­ton Po­lice Depart­ment and how it felt to be rec­og­nized by peers for their ac­com­plish­ments. CPD Sgt. Chuck Groover

Sgt. Groover has been in law en­force­ment for more than 40 years. He worked with the Ma­con Po­lice Depart­ment for 28 years be­fore re­tir­ing. He then joined the Cov­ing­ton Po­lice Depart­ment, where he has been for the last 12 years.

Sgt. Groover is over CPD’s ac­cred­i­ta­tion and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. He is re­spon­si­ble for mak­ing sure the

Cov­ing­ton Po­lice Depart­ment is re-ac­cred­ited ev­ery three years. He writes poli­cies and pro­ce­dures, over­sees train­ing and ca­reer de­vel­op­ment and heads sup­port ser­vices.

In ad­di­tion to his du­ties at the depart­ment, Sgt. Groover is also an as­ses­sor for the Com­mis­sion on Ac­cred­i­ta­tion for Law En­force­ment Agen­cies, where he goes around the United States con­duct­ing as­sess­ments of other agen­cies.

The Cov­ing­ton Po­lice Depart­ment was first ac­cred­ited in 1985 and was the first agency in Ge­or­gia to be ac­cred­ited and the tenth in the na­tion. Of those 10 de­part­ments orig­i­nally ac­cred­ited, there are only four left and Cov­ing­ton is one of them, Sgt. Groover said, “It’s a big deal here.” The city of Cov­ing­ton’s po­lice, fire, 911 and pub­lic works de­part­ments are all ac­cred­ited agen­cies, which Sgt. Groover said was one of the few agen­cies to have four de­part­ments ac­cred­ited.

“There are 484 law en­force­ment stan­dards that deal with ev­ery facet of law en­force­ment. What we’ve done, and what we try to do on a con­tin­u­ing ba­sis, is we write our poli­cies and pro­ce­dures to meet those stan­dards and the of­fi­cers are trained to meet those stan­dards when they do their job,” Sgt. Groover said of his du­ties.

He said it was very hum­bling to be named one of the three em­ploy­ees of the year. “We must’ve been do­ing some­thing right or oth­er­wise, the other em­ploy­ees wouldn’t have voted for us,” he said.

Of­fi­cer An­thony Walden

Of­fi­cer Walden has been with CPD for 15 years work­ing in the pa­trol di­vi­sion. He has been a mem­ber of the SWAT team and is cur­rently CPD’s Range Mas­ter and firearms in­struc­tor, a po­si­tion he took over this year af­ter CPD’s for­mer Range Mas­ter re­tired.

Sgt. Groover noted that the depart­ment has hired sev­eral younger of­fi­cers in the last three years and Of­fi­cer Walden has led as a field train­ing of­fi­cer. “He helps train the young of­fi­cers when they get out of the academy and they go out on the road,” Sgt. Groover said.

“It’s like any­thing else you know; there are 10 dif­fer­ent ways to do any­thing. But what we’re look­ing for is peo­ple who can do it and do it pro­fes­sion­ally and use some com­mon sense, get out there and just ap­ply what they have learned,” Walden said about his re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

Walden said he be­lieved the firearms staff has had a pretty good tran­si­tion and a good train­ing year, which has led him to be­come this years’ em­ployee of the year for his di­vi­sion.

“Just be­ing out here ev­ery day and deal­ing with ev­ery­thing from chil­dren to any­body in the neigh­bor­hood I can ride and talk to, I get a kick out of it,” Of­fi­cer Walden said. “Any­thing deal­ing with be­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer is fun. To me, it’s fun. It’s like I get to dress up to go to work and play.”

Lerea Neely

Lerea Neely is an ad­min­is­tra­tive as­sis­tant for the depart­ment. She has worked with the po­lice depart­ment since 2010, work­ing first as a tran­scriber and then mov­ing to the ad­min­is­tra­tion depart­ment as the ad­min­is­tra­tive as­sis­tant to Chief Stacey Cot­ton.

Neely has a wide range of du­ties as CPD’s ad­min­is­tra­tive as­sis­tant. Some of those in­clude work­ing in ac­counts payable; keep­ing books for four dif­fer­ent ac­counts; sched­ul­ing classes and train­ing; plan­ning events and func­tions for the depart­ment; and keep­ing up with Chief Cot­ton’s ap­point­ments.

Neely said she en­joys work­ing at the depart­ment be­cause of the day-to-day ex­cite­ment on the job.

“It’s never bor­ing and it’s a fam­ily at­mos­phere here. Ev­ery­one re­ally cares about one another,” she said.

She said it’s an honor to be named em­ployee of the year, as so many other em­ploy­ees were well de­serv­ing of the award in her depart­ment.

“It was very nice to be rec­og­nized by the peo­ple you work with,” Neely said.




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