American Legion Post 24 selected Master Deputy George Wooden as their 2020 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in recognition of his outstanding service, teamwork and community interaction. Because of social distancing and Deputy Wooden’s retirement, Post 24 representatives and Sheriff’s Office commanders chose to notify Deputy Wooden of the honor rather than wait for the traditional ceremony at the Post Home on Cameron Street.
On December 23, Chief Deputy Shelbert Williams and Lieutenant Marybeth Plaskus, who nominated Deputy Wooden for the honor, presented him with a letter from Post 24 Commander Henry Dorton to formally notify him of the award. Chief Williams and Lieutenant Plaskus congratulated Deputy Wooden on his award and will make arrangements for him to receive the official plaque in the near future.
During his most recent assignment in Support Services, Deputy Wooden oversaw the Inmate Work Detail, supervising inmates as they completed public service projects in the community. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Deputy Wooden’s primary assignment changed, and he was responsible for managing the grounds of the Public Safety Center, disinfecting common areas to protect staff, and delivering personal protective equipment for staff use. According to Lieutenant Plaskus, “During this critical public health concern, Deputy Wooden went above and beyond his typical duty requirements to ensure that staff and those in our custody stay safe and healthy.”
Deputy Wooden’s final year of service at the Sheriff’ Office reflects the strong commitment, tremendous work ethic, and exceedingly positive interactions with the public that he demonstrated throughout his career. Before joining the Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Wooden also proudly served in the U.S. Air Force.