County police officer of the year to be honored

Three local law enforcement officers have been nominated for the 2019 Laurens County Police Officer of the Year award.

The award is given annually to an officer from among the Clinton Police Department, Laurens Police Department or the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office.

This year’s awards luncheon is scheduled for noon on Tuesday, May 14 at The Ridge.

LPD Investigator J.C. Brewington was named the county’s Officer of the Year for 2018.

This year’s nominees for the countywide award are LCSO Investigator Farrah Cook, Laurens Police Capt. Heath Copeland and Clinton Police Lt. Philip Wicker.

Each nominee was selected Officer of the Year from their respective law enforcement agencies.

• Cook, a native of Waterloo and lifelong Laurens County resident, joined the LCSO in 2010 and was assigned to the county jail. She moved to the uniformed patrol division in 2014 on the night shift and was promoted to investigator in 2016, joining the criminal investigations division of the LCSO.

Every day, Farrah comes to work she checks on her partners, she helps younger deputies and has never backed away from a challenge,” wrote Laurens County Sheriff Don Reynolds in Cook’s nomination letter for Officer of the Year. “There has been no challenge too complicated for Farrah.”

• Copeland, a Clinton native and Clinton High graduate, began his career with the LPD as a patrol officer in 2000 and has worked his way through the ranks. He was promoted to captain earlier this year and is responsible for school resource officers, retention and recruitment and is the LPD’s evidence custodian.

Early in his career, also began working with Laurens Preparatory Academy as a young patrolman, sparking a passion for helping young people.

“Capt. Copeland redefined the roles and responsibilities of school officers to include facilitating positive interactions among law enforcement, students and parents,” wrote LPD Chief Chrissie Cofield in Copeland’s nomination letter.

• Wicker, a native and resident of Whitmire, and joined what was then the Clinton Department of Public Safety in 2010 as a law enforcement officer and fire fighter. He is now a member of the Clinton Police Department’s Special Response Team. He has also taken on additional responsibilities as a leader within the department, working with recruits to develop them physically and mentally for the job and training at the state police academy.

“He is passionate about physical fitness and encourages and helps to develop the new recruits both mentally and physically so that they will be successful at the police academy,” wrote Clinton Police Chief Sonny Ledda in Wicker’s nomination letter. “Philip Wicker is a great asset to the Clinton Police Department and is worthy of the Officer of the Year award.”

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