November 2, 2020

Dawson named Domestic Violence Officer of the Year

GAINESVILLE – Hall County Sheriff officer Sgt. John Dawson has been named the 2020 Officer of the Year by the Hall County Domestic Violence Task Force.

The award was announced at the group’s annual Domestic Violence Breakfast and Briefing which is held each year during October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Due to considerations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event was held virtually, via Zoom.

Amber Sowers, the Chief Assistant Solicitor for Hall County, announced Dawson as the honoree, calling him “quite deserving” and noting that he received multiple nominations from those both inside and outside of law enforcement, as well as supervisors. “What he’s done for victims is quite honorable,” she said.

Dawson began working with the Hall County Sheriff’s Office in 2006 at the jail like most officers who are beginning their careers in law enforcement here.

Through the years he was promoted and has worked in various roles within the department, including as a patrol sergeant, and he currently works as a patrol training sergeant. He also picks up supervisory shifts as needed.

“What I think is most notable about this officer is that he seeks out trainings specifically related to domestic violence,” Sowers said. “He’s just one who holds it very, very close to his heart.”

Sowers formally presented the award on behalf of the Task Force the week before the briefing and told a story of a particular domestic violence case years ago where Dawson sought out and brought her specific case law in order to ensure appropriate charges were filed. Sowers said she’s kept that on a sticky note at her desk so that she can share it with newer attorneys who come to her asking “is this something we can do? And I tell them that John Dawson gave me this case forever ago.”

Chief Assistant Solicitor for Hall County Amber Sowers, left, Officer of the Year recipient Sgt. John Dawson, and Capt. Jason Smith.