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Rotary Club of Madison presented its annual awards for city employees demonstrating superior job performance. The presentation included Mayor Paul Finley, from left; Joshua Overman, Police Officer of the Year; Candace Watson, City Employee of the Year; Luke Hall, Firefighter of the Year; and Madison City Council President Ranae Bartlett. CONTRIBUTED

Rotary Club awards city employees Hall, Overman and Watson

MADISON – For the 24th consecutive year, Rotary Club of Madison has recognized three city workers who have shown exemplary performance in their jobs.

These individuals are Luke Hall, “Firefighter of the Year”; Joshua Overman, “Police Officer of the Year”; and Candace Watson, “City Employee of the Year.”

“Rotary Club of Madison is proud to have initiated, supported and to continue this recognition since its inception in 2000,” Debbie Overcash said. A Rotary member, Overcash serves as Chair of the Madison Employee of the Year Committee.

“We are excited to recognize those city employees who go the extra mile, who give 110 percent to the citizens of our community and whose spirit and accomplishments are greatly and deeply appreciated,” Overcash said.

* LUKE HALL, FIREFIGHTER OF THE YEAR – Six years with department, currently as Driver-Paramedic. Hall completed Flight Medic/Critical Care and another EMS Instructor program, serves as EMS Division instructor/mentor, teaches rescue bailouts and high-rise operations and more.

Hall has received two Lifesaving Awards, one for transporting a six-month-old baby in respiratory arrest to Women’s and Children’s Hospital. The child lived.

“In my interactions with Luke, whether on the training ground, at emergency calls or in the station, I have routinely perceived him to be the ‘Quiet Professional,’” Fire Chief David Bailey said. “Luke can keep himself and others calm.”

“He is a continuous student of the craft and exemplifies everything that Madison Fire represents,” Captain Russ Kennington said. “Luke continues to grow not only as a (firefighter) but as a person.”

Hall’s Battalion Chief Chad Menard praised Hall’s service to the paramedic program and sharing innovations with the department after attending conferences.

An outdoorsman, Hall likes to hunt, fish and help Athens’ ambulance service. He and his fiance, Briana Fortier, a Madison dispatcher, will marry in October.

* JOSHUA OVERMAN, POLICE OFFICER OF THE YEAR — Joined department in April 2022. “Officer Overman is an outstanding young police officer who espouses our organization’s core values,” Police Chief Johnny Gandy said. “His work ethic is respected by peers and supervisors alike.”

In the past six months, Overman has fielded 881 calls for service and self-initiated hundreds of patrols for criminal activity. Overman conducted 227 traffic stops, leading to 44 arrests. Twenty-plus arrests involved narcotics possession, many as felonies.

“Overman developed the drive to take dangerous narcotics off Madison streets. This isn’t an easy task,” Gandy said. “Criminals, especially ones involved in narcotics, learn police tactics. As police learn how they’re currently conducting their business, they change tactics to avoid detection.”

In February 2024, Overman observed an occupied vehicle behind a gas station. His investigating led to two felony arrests and seizing 58 grams of methamphetamine, ready for sale, along with drug paraphernalia, stolen firearms, a ghost gun, stolen property and cases of stolen identities.

At home, Overman and wife Amber are fond of their two dogs and cat. His favorite hobbies are mountain biking and lifting weights.

* CANDACE WATSON, EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR – Has worked as Police Communications Supervisor since 2015 at Madison County 911 Center.

“Candace is one of the city’s most dedicated dispatchers,” Mayor Paul Finley said. “Candace has aided, comforted and reassured countless citizens of Madison in their most critical moments of need.”

Watson has aided in apprehension of many suspects. One night, she observed a call reporting a Huntsville robbery.

Knowing suspects sometimes rob multiple stores, she contacted Madison businesses on U.S. 72 with offenders’ descriptions. A store employee recognized individuals entering the business who matched that description. The employee alerted Madison police, who apprehended the suspects.

Supervisor Daniel Weaver described Watson as “focused, driven and an effective leader. She is respected by her peers and listens to others’ concerns in decision-making.”

“Candace’s judgement during critical life-threatening situations is excellent. (Co-workers) depend on her calm ability to make sound decisions,” Weaver said.

Away from work, Candace is an avid dog lover and often feeds wild birds. She frequently visits her family’s cattle farm in Tennessee.

Hall, Overman and Watson each received an award plaque, inclusion on City Hall’s perpetual plaque, a cash gift from Rotary Club and the entire city’s gratitude for a job well done.


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Rotary Club awards city employees Hall, Overman and Watson