Calera honors policeman, firefighter

Published 3:30 pm Tuesday, December 13, 2011

By BRAD GASKINS / Staff Writer

CALERA – The Calera Chamber of Commerce honored the city’s police and fire departments Tuesday during the chamber’s monthly luncheon.

The chamber presented its inaugural fireman and policeman of the year awards.

Mike Poe was named Policeman of the Year, and Justin Glass was named Fireman of the Year.

“We have an awesome group of guys, both fire and police,” Calera Mayor Jon Graham said.

Poe has been a police officer for 18 years, the last three with Calera.

Poe was “directly involved” with capturing two men who allegedly held up a Calera Waffle House at gunpoint, Calera Police Chief Sean Lemley said. The men, authorities allege, had robbed 19 Waffle Houses in two states.

Lemley also praised Poe for chasing down an auto theft suspect armed with a handgun. Lemley said it would have been easy for Poe to abandon the pursuit, but he didn’t.

“I’m surprised and very honored,” Poe said. “This is the first time I’ve received an award like this. I appreciate the chamber taking their time to honor the police and firefighters.”

Glass was one of the original three firefighters hired by Calera, Fire Chief Sean Kendrick said.

“He is still motivated like it’s his first day on the job,” Kendrick said of Glass. “He has great leadership ability. He works well with everybody, and he interacts well with the public.”

“I’m just humbled and honored to be nominated,” Glass said. “It’s truly a blessing to be a Calera fireman. I look forward to coming in each and every shift. I’ve got a great group of guys that I work with, and I just love the job.”

Glass also serves as a volunteer fireman with Fourmile, and works part-time as a Shelby County 911 dispatcher.

The chamber also recognized winners from the city’s Christmas parade, including Cove Fountain of Life Ministries (first place), Iglesia Bethel Church (second place) and The Alabama Firefighters Museum (third place).