Officers from multiple Callaway County law enforcement agencies desended on the Fulton Country Club for the Rotary Club of Fulton's G.W. Law, Law Enforcement Officer of the Year luncheon where the Club recognizes those men and women who put on the uniform every day in service to our community.
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.
Sergeant Joe Schramm addresses the crowd after receiving the G.W. Law, Award
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.
This year's nominees are Fulton Police Department Sergeant Joe Schramm, who was nominated by Lieutenant Bill Ladwig and Callaway County Sheriff's Office Deputy Ryan Lacey, who was nominated by Lieutenant Clay Chism.
Both nominations cite the officers' commitment to the community by their subscription to the Rotary ideal of "Service Above Self."
Deputy Lacey's nomination is centered on the way he conducts himself and the respect he shows all community members, no matter what the situation may be. Lieutenant Chism writes, "I have personally been approached by community members from all walks of life who profess how respectful Lacey was in their dealings with him. Some of these community members have even been on the 'wrong side of the law,' yet they are quick to say how respectful Lacey was in his dealings with them. Simply, Lacey's way of doing business and showing everyone respect is a key component of a successful law officer whose career will continue to succeed."
Sergeant Schramm's nomination focus on his work with the Shop with a Hero program. Lieutenant Ladwig writes, "Quietly and without any desire for personal recognition, Sgt Schramm, for several years has worked to make the lives of children brighter during Christmas. Year after year, all year long, Sgt Schramm works within the entire Callaway County business community to provide a brighter and happier holiday season to less fortunate children that otherwise would go without a Christmas. Each year the Shop with a Hero program has grown and benefited more and more children. Shop with a Hero gives children from Callaway County the opportunity to partner with not only Police Officers, but Firefighters, Emergency Medical Personnel, and Department of Corrections Officers to shop for themselves and their loved ones to make Christmas enjoyable."
After considering both nominations, the selection committee chose Sergeant Schramm as the 2016 G.W. Law, Law Enforcement Officer of the year.