ALBANY -- As 2009 was winding down, Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul took time to recognize two employees who have gone the extra mile this year to make the community a safer place to live.
Sgt. Eddie Jackson and Connie Mallory were honored as 2009 employees of the year for the county sheriff's office and jail, respectively, at Sproul's office in downtown Albany Wednesday.
Sproul started off by commenting on the professionalism of those who work in his department, saying that since taking on his duties a year ago, he has come to understand what his predecessor, former Sheriff Jamil Saba, was talking about before he left office.
"I do have some of the best employees to work with," Sproul said.
Sproul described Mallory as a person who is well informed and educated, and a person currently working in one of the toughest jobs in law enforcement.
Mallory took time to acknowledge the statement.
"Working in the jail is a hard job," he said. "You are basically babysitting adults."
Mallory's favorite part of the job has been having co-workers to lean on and learn things from. "I would not be there if not for them," he said.
Jackson has been with the sheriff's department since 1989, having previously worked at Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. before that Albany plant closed down.
One of Jackson's best traits is that he works well as a team player, the sheriff said.
"He wouldn't ask anybody to do something he would not do," Sproul said. "He is looked upon as a leader."
Jackson, who was also recognized as employee of the year in 1997, said he was humbled by the honor. "I could not do what I do if I didn't have a good crew out there," he said. "We try to do a good job for the community.
"(The recognition) means a lot to me."
The process for selecting the employees of the year is conducted by those in the department voting on their peers.
Sproul went on to say that, while working in law enforcement may sometimes feel like it is a thankless job, it's important to recognize those striving to make Dougherty County a better place.
"(The employees of the sheriff's department) reflect not just on me, but what people think of the community," he said.