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Top honor for top cop

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August 24, 2005

Cairo-- The Grady County Sheriff's Office is celebrating a prestigious honor. One of its jailers has won the "Detention Officer of the Year" award. It's also history all of South Georgia can be proud of.

Jail isn't a pleasant place, but Grady County Detention Officer Janice Lashley is keeping a good attitude about being there. "I just enjoy my job," she says.

That attitude is reflected by a top honor Lashley was awarded last week. "It's for the best detention officer in the State of Georgia," she says. The award is also a first for South Georgia. No other detention officer in our region has ever won it. "It filled me with pride. It made me feel good that someone recognized the work," says Lashley.

Besides her attitude and job performance, Lashley won the award for recognizing Maurice Montgomery, a wanted sex offender who absconded from Florida. He turned up in the Grady Jail. "Came to work, verified it, called Leon County, verified it with them," says Lashley.

"All in a day's work" she adds. Hard work appreciated by her boss, Sheriff Harry Young. "I definitely would hate to have to be without her," he says.

That's proven by Young's dedication to Lashley, and her dedication to the jail. "You got to have people who can calm people down, or can handle a situation. Janice can," says Young.

Lashley takes Young's faith in here to heart, so much she wants to take her job to the next level. "It makes me want to learn more about my job, things I can do better," says Lashley. Call that a proactive approach from a woman who comes from a long line of law enforcers.

Lashley had no idea she had won the award. Sheriff Young conned her into going to the ceremony by telling her she was going to be attending training classes.

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