GSW Public Safety Officer named GACLEA Officer of the Year

Published 9:37 am Wednesday, October 25, 2017

AMERICUS — A Public Safety Officer from Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) received special recognition recently at the annual Georgia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (GACLEA) Conference. Sgt. Michael Lewis was named the GACLEA’s Oris W. Bryant Jr. Officer of the Year.
An Americus native, Lewis has more than 23 years of experience in law enforcement. He has been on the GSW Public Safety Department staff for the past five years and was promoted to sergeant within the last year.
“Over my long career, I have found no greater happiness than watching our young students enter university life bright eyed and eager to make a difference,” said Lewis. “I am truly blessed to be able to help them, in some way, in that pursuit.”
The GACLEA Officer of the Year award is named in honor of GSW’s former Public Safety Director, Chief Oris W. Bryant Jr., who died in 2013. The award recognizes one officer each year for promoting and upholding safety on college campuses in Georgia. Lewis’ supervisor, Chief Mike Tracy said Lewis is deserving of this recognition.
“Sgt. Lewis’ leadership is evident on a daily basis,” said Tracy. “His commitment to doing his job well follows him on every case, and he has quickly solved several cases that require focus, experience and dedication.”
When fellow GSW Officer Jody Smith and Americus Police Office Nicholas Smarr were tragically killed in action last December, Tracy said that Lewis’ leadership was on display.
“He was always in the right place at the right time encouraging our officers and giving whatever they needed to do their jobs,” Tracy added. “Mike is one of the guys that you want both representing you and by your side in troubled times.”
“Sgt. Lewis is a great ambassador for law enforcement on the GSW campus,” said GSW President Neal Weaver. “He has built a rapport with our students that is grounded in respect and that allows for open lines of communication. We are honored to have him as a member of the Public Safety team, and he is deserving of this award.”
The GACLEA represents campus law enforcement officers on 60 college and university campuses in Georgia. The Association’s objectives are to promote professional ideals and standards, to promote the professional development of its members and to collectively represent campus law enforcement to the citizens of Georgia.
Lewis is the third GSW Public Safety Officer to receive special recognition this year. Sgt. Nate Milledge was named the 2017 GSW Officer of the Year, and Officer Donna Tissue received the 2017 Staff Excellence in Service Award.