PPD Sgt. Jason Vandiver Receives Officer of the Year Award – Shelby County Reporter

By MICHELLE LOVE | Staff writer

PELHAM – On Thursday evening, June 2, the Pelham Police Department honored Sgt. Jason Vandiver with the 2022 Officer of the Year Award.

The awards ceremony was held at the Pelham Senior Center at the start of the American Legion Matthew Blount Post 555 meeting. The organization, dedicated to spreading awareness and supporting veterans, holds the awards each year to honor first responders who demonstrate true dedication to community service.

Police Chief Pat Cheatwood first thanked those present for their work in defending their country and said it was an honor to be there. He went on to say that there has been a significant drop in people wanting to serve in law enforcement.

“It’s difficult these days to find people who genuinely care about their community and want to serve them to the best of their ability,” he said. “These are the kinds of people we’re looking for, and it’s getting harder and harder to find these people.”

Cheatwood called Vandiver to the front and explained that Vandiver was not only a colleague but also a dear friend. Vandi’s family was also in attendance, and Cheatwood paid tribute to them in his speech.

“I’ve known this family for 13 or 14 years, and not only are we colleagues, but his family was at my house for Memorial Day,” Cheatwood said. “I can tell you this man is a great cop, but he’s also a great father and a great husband.”

Vandivers’ merits demonstrate a lifelong commitment to law enforcement and his patriotism for his country. He served in the US Army as a Specialist for eight years and has spent the last 20 years in law enforcement, including 15 years with the Pelham Police Department. He was also declared an Eagle Scout and served as a troop leader for Boy Scouts of America.

“Sergeant Vandiver is a true officer in every respect,” said Cheatwood. “He ministers to people on and off duty. He will help anyone at any time and I’ve seen it first hand. He is always ready to listen, help, guide and comfort anyone in need. He always gives his most valuable asset: his time. He has led several small groups through his church including men’s groups, parents’ groups, marriage groups, which I was a part of.”

Cheatwood went on to say that Vandiver has held almost every role in the department from patrolman, police officer, evidence technician and detective before being promoted to sergeant. But his dedication to the force didn’t stop there. Vandiver has always been committed to helping those around us and solving any problems that may arise. He’s even been known to stay on longer than other administrative staff to ensure there aren’t any loose ends.

“His dedication to the job and responsibility should be a role model for all who follow him. Sergeant Vandiver is exceptional at ensuring tasks and projects are completed. Having follow-up discussions and having answers to questions are his strengths.”

According to Cheatwood, Vandiver has spent the last two years improving the department’s technology, including license plate readers and security cameras across the city, and those advances have resulted in multiple cases being resolved quickly and efficiently.

“The work ethic, service, care, dedication, dedication and vision that Sergeant Vandiver brings to our department are all reasons I believe he should be the recipient of this year’s Officer of the Year award,” said Cheatwood. “People like him make the workplace pleasant, productive and efficient. Thanks to Sergeant Vandiver, the men and women of our department will continue to fulfill our mission to be progressive and fight crime, serve in a professional manner, and be dedicated to the citizens we serve.”

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