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Recipients of Madison Employee of the Year honors for 2020 are Leroy Jackson, from left, “Employee of the Year,” Madison Parks and Recreations; Michael Sedlacek, “Firefighter of the Year”; and Ralph Dawe IV, “Officer of the Year.” CONTRIBUTED

Dawe, Jackson and Sedlacek earn employee of year honors

MADISON – Ralph Dawe, Leroy Jackson and Michael Sedlacek received awards in Madison Employee of the Year recognition at the June 22 meeting of Madison City Council.

For 19 years, Rotary Club of Madison with city approval has recognized exemplary city workers in law enforcement, fire protection and community services. “These fine employees have been selected by their supervisors for this well deserved recognition,” Debbie Overcash said. Overcash is a Rotarian and chairs the award program.

Honorees each receive a plaque, name on City Hall’s perpetual plaque, four tickets to Parrots of the Caribbean and monetary donations from Rotary and Optimist Club of Madison.

* Ralph Dawe IV, “Officer of the Year,” Madison Police Department

“Officer Dawe has done an amazing job since joining in January 2009,” Police Chief David Jernigan said. “This past year, he far exceeded already high expectations the department bestows upon him.”

Assigned to the School Resource Officer or SRO Unit, Dawe is lead at Bob Jones High School. He has taken most calls including Text-to-Protect, child abuse, narcotics, theft, harassment calls. He instructs classes ranging from drugs and alcohol prevention to bullying and traffic stops.

Dawe also successfully mentored a new SRO.

In January, Bob Jones Principal Sylvia Lambert contacted Dawe about a burglary and criminal mischief case, causing $20,000 in damage. He reviewed surveillance video of four males rummaging in classrooms and setting off sprinklers that damaged the auditorium, chorus and band rooms.

Dawe identified an unusual walking mannerism of one offender. He monitored students for that mannerism and identified a suspect in February. School administrators obtained a confession and identities of the other three burglars.

As SWAT Assistant Team Leader, Dawe assists in scheduling training, ensures members’ proficiency and oversees eight SWAT operators, including several with higher rank. “Dawe helped plan the operation of numerous high-risk search warrants … not only narcotics raids but for fugitive suspects that have histories of violence with police officers,” Jernigan said.

* Leroy Jackson, “Employee of the Year,” Parks and Recreations.

“Leroy’s knowledge about the neighborhood parks and all the ‘workings’ of Palmer Park qualifies him an exceptional employee,” department chair Kory Alfred said. “Leroy continues to share his knowledge and understanding of Palmer Park to new Parks and Rec employees.”

“When given a task, we know the request will be completed on time (by Leroy) and to the best of his ability. He is truly an asset to our department,” Alfred said.

Jackson’s work ethic sets an example daily, Alfred and assistant director Kelly Johnson said:

* Being prepared – For cutting the city’s trailhead, Jackson scheduled equipment and staff at the location. Workers completed the job within two hours.

* Cooperation – For Dublin Pool’s air structure, Jackson lead a maintenance crew in assisting the aquatics department in taking down equipment. Jackson helped with removing/replacing diving boards.

* Leadership – Constant assistance during state baseball tournament.

* Park maintenance – In charge of 30-plus neighborhood parks. He keeps equipment in working order, adds mulch to playgrounds and removes unsafe items.

* Overtime – Willing to work extra hours.

* Willingness – Team player with all departments.

* Punctuality – On time with few sick days.

* Suggestions – Offered ideas for improvements.

* Capt. Michael Sedlacek, “Firefighter of the Year,” Madison Fire and Rescue.

During 12 years with the department, Sedlacek has served as a firefighter, paramedic, driver/engineer and currently as Captain of Community Risk Reduction Division.

“Sedlacek has led our efforts to collaborate with city school leaders and created a Family Risk Reduction program that we now deliver to third-grade students in Madison,” Fire Chief David Bailey said. National Fire Academy recruited Sedlacek as adjunct instructor for Community Risk Reduction curriculum.

Working with local engineers, Sedlacek created the first Virtual Reality Program that allows children and adults to experience ‘virtual’ real-life emergencies and practice life saving techniques.

He led efforts to revive Alabama Fire & Life Safety Educators group, which developed a Community Risk Reduction Manual for fire safety educators.

Sedlacek and wife Courtni’s children are Makenzi, Caiden and Macy.

Michael earned a bachelor’s degree in public safety and emergency management from Grand Canyon University. He graduated from Alabama Public Safety Leadership Academy in 2019 and is attending the Managing Officer Program at National Fire Academy.

“’Spellcheck,’ as everyone calls Michael, has tremendous drive and enthusiasm for Community Risk Reduction and helping our citizens,” Bailey said. “Daily, he puts his energy and talents to work. We’re very fortunate to have him here in Madison.”

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