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The G.W. Law – Law Officer of the Year award, named after former Callaway County Sheriff George W. Law, was established in 1998 as a means for the Rotary Club to provide recognition to a law enforcement officer who demonstrates the Rotary ideal of “Service Above Self’ while serving the citizens of Callaway County, but more importantly it gives the Fulton Rotary Club an opportunity to say thank you to the law enforcement community as a whole for the job they do on a daily basis.

Prior to being elected Sheriff of Callaway County, George W. Law served with the 1st Missouri Cavalry, Confederate States of America. Law served as Captain of Company B, 1st Missouri Calvary, was promoted to Major and later promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. In the spring of 1863, Colonel Law lost an arm at Big Black River near Vicksburg, Mississippi. Colonel Law recovered from his injuries and served throughout the Civil War. At war’s end, Colonel Law returned home to Callaway County. By all accounts, Colonel Law was widely respected throughout the county for his service during the Civil War.

In 1872, Colonel Law was elected Sheriff of Callaway County and served honorably until his death on August 23, 1873.It is the circumstances of Sheriff Law’s death that led the Rotary Club to name our award after him. On August 15, 1873, Sheriff Law was transporting a convicted thief, Peter Kessler, who had been sentenced to six years in prison, from the Callaway County Courthouse to the train station located in northwest Fulton. As Sheriff Law and his charge were traveling north on Court Street, the carriage they were riding in was attacked by a mob of eight to ten men. Many gunshots rang out, and the mob overtook the carriage. During the attack, Sheriff Law was mortally wounded, but did not succumb to his wounds until eight days later. Sheriff Law’s service to the community and dedication to the job are second to none and is an example today’s members of the law enforcement community strive to follow.

The following officers are previous recipients of the G. W. Law – Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award.

1998 - Deputy Robert Smith (CCSD)
1999 - Major Roger Rice (FPD)
2000 - Officer Steve Myers (FPD)
2001 - Chief Charles Latham (FPD
2002 - Trooper Scott Carey (MSHP)
2003 - Trooper Michael Turner (MSHP)
2004 - Trooper Jeffery White (MSHP)
2005 - Deputy Lloyd Horn (CCSD)
2006 - Deputy Fred Cave (CCSD)
2007 - Lieutenant Lyla Robbins (CCSD)
2008 - Lieutenant Mark Douglas (FRDC)
2009 - Deputy Jeff Harding (CCSD)
2010 - Sergeant Bill Ladwig (FPD)
2011 - Deputy Jackie Karhoff (CCSD)

2012 - Sheriff Dennis Crane (CCSD)
2013 - Chief Kevin Suedmeyer (APD)
2014 - Captain Darryl Maylee (CCSD)
2015 - Sergeant Michael Halford (MSHP)

2016 - Sergeant Joe Schramm (FPD)

2017 - Deputy Aaron Hazelton (CCSD)

2018 - Sgt. Ryan Lacey (CCSD)

2019 - Sheriff Clay Chism (CCSD)

2020 - Sergeant Corey Schmidt (CCSD)

2021 - Sergeant Crystal Kent (FPD)

2022 - Sergeant Billy Camp (CCSD)

2023 - Deputy John Nielsen (CCSD)

Sheriff George W. Law

Callaway County, Missouri 

1872 - 1873

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