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Last weekend, Bainbridge State College interim Executive Vice President, Shawn McGee received a phone call from South Georgia District Attorney Joe Mulholland, about one of BSC’s employees being honored with a special award.

With a surprise presentation ceremony held at the Kirbo Center on Tuesday morning, BSC Police Chief James E. Spooner, Jr., was awarded the 2015 Justice Award for his outstanding commitment to serving justice.

According to District Attorney Joe Mulholland, the annual award is given to one law enforcement officer in the South Georgia Judicial Circuit, which includes not only Decatur County, but also Grady, Mitchell, Baker and Calhoun Counties. It is specifically awarded to the recipient based on service in the court setting, but not necessarily for the biggest case made. It is based on going above and beyond in ensuring justice is served.

Chief Spooner’s case involved an investigation into the culture at BSC, which according to Mulholland, had over the years “gotten to the point where people thought they could do whatever they want and not be true stewards to the government or to the public.”

Lots of long hours and work went into the case Chief Spooner investigated. The District Attorney commented on how difficult it can be to prosecute cases such as this one and to collect all the vital information. Chief Spooner was able to provide the information, while working tirelessly on the case.

“I couldn’t be prouder of Chief Spooner. I’ve known him for a long time and we’ve worked on high profile cases throughout both of our careers. And now, I’ve seen him take a department and truly change the culture here at Bainbridge State, while making student safety the top priority. When parents send their children to college in our community, they can be comforted in knowing they are in a safe environment.

Chief Spooner was always available to the District Attorney’s office while building this case and keeping BSC safe—and that’s the type of commitment to justice that this award represents,” said Mulholland as he presented the 2015 Justice Award to Chief James Spooner.

Chief Spooner was humbled to be the 2015 Justice Award recipient and claimed the success of the case was a joint effort made possible by not only the police agency, but the BSC Department of Public Safety.

He now looks for even brighter days at BSC.

He said, “I hope we can lock the case away and see it as the closing of a chapter with a brighter future for the college. I’m really excited about the way things are going here under the great leadership of President Richard Carvajal; Student Affairs Vice President, Rodney Carr; and interim Executive Vice President, Shawn McGee—all of who support me in my job. I’d also like to thank my team here at Bainbridge State, April McNair (BSC Public Safety Administration Assistant); Officers Beau Harrell, Brian Lewis and Victor Strickland, who hold the fort down while I’m away in court hearings.”

 

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