Governor Deal also recognizes former Board Member Robert Keller

Atlanta, GA – Cuthbert Chief Parole Officer Kelvin Hawkins is a 2013 recipient of a Governor’s Public Safety Award. Governor Nathan Deal presented Hawkins with the honor at today’s 16th annual presentation and recognition ceremony held at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth.

On December 11, 2012, Hawkins was in the field conducting board business when he observed two Albany police officers trying to prevent a man from jumping from the Blaylock overpass to US 19 below. Hawkins acted quickly to assist the officers. He began encouraging and assuring the man that there were other options. Hawkins promised help if the man would stop threatening to jump. Hawkins then assisted other officers by physically pulling the man to safety and away from the overpass. The man was taken to an ambulance and transported to receive the help Chief Hawkins had promised.

Hawkins says he relied on his parole officer experience in crisis situations and he is honored to be recognized with the award.

“I’m honored to receive it, I’m honored without a doubt,” said Hawkins.

Executive Director for the State Board of Pardons and Paroles Michael Nail says the incident speaks to the many roles of a public servant.

“Chief Hawkins displayed the quick thinking and willingness to get involved that are traits our parole officers must have.  He utilized his training and skills to help avert what could have been a tragedy. We’re all very proud of him and his actions,” stated Nail.

Hawkins is a 1992 graduate of Albany State University where he received a bachelor’s degree.  He began his career with the Board in April 1993 in the Blakely Parole Office, which later became the Cuthbert Parole Office.  He was promoted to senior parole officer in November 1994 and also worked as the unofficial second-in-command to the chief parole officer.  In that capacity, he trained all officers hired into the office by the Board, some of whom have gone on to management positions of their own.

In August 1999, Hawkins was transferred to the Albany Parole Office as acting assistant chief parole officer (ACPO). The position was made permanent in November 1999. As ACPO, he supervised a partial caseload while assuming assigned management responsibilities. In addition, he continued to act as the district’s primary training officer.   

In December 2008, Hawkins was promoted to chief parole officer of the Cuthbert Parole Office.

In 2011, the Cuthbert physical office was closed and the staff moved to the Albany Parole Office.  Chief Hawkins continues to manage the Cuthbert staff from this location, a task which requires that he travel to the outlying counties with his officers. In addition, he has assisted with managerial duties in the Albany Parole Office as needed. 

During his tenure with the Board, Hawkins has become a Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) instructor, teaching classes regularly.  He has served with both the Dougherty County Domestic Violence Task Force and the Community Oriented Policing Advisory Board.  He also has completed the Department of Corrections’ Georgia Leadership Institute (GLI) training.  He is currently the faith-based liaison for the region. He is scheduled to graduate in 2014 from Command College at Columbus State University with a master’s degree in Public Safety Administration.

In addition to his job with the Board, Chief Hawkins is the Senior Pastor of Weldon Springs Baptist Church in Albany. In this capacity, he has cultivated a number of faith-based partnerships which regularly assist parolees in the Albany area.  Because of this dedication, he and Weldon Springs Baptist Church were the recipients of the 2008 Parole Association of Georgia (PAOG) Volunteer Service Award.  

Former Parole Board Member Robert Keller is recognized

Former Parole Board Member Robert Keller was recognized today by Governor Deal at the 2013 Governor’s Public Safety Awards.

Mr. Keller received the “Outstanding Contribution to Profession” award. He received the honor as a result of his career in public safety and serving the citizens of Georgia for the past 41 years.

Mr. Keller previously served as executive counsel and chairman of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia and prior to that position he served as the assistant district attorney of the Clayton Judicial Circuit from 1972 to 1974. Following private practice, he served as the district attorney of the Clayton Judicial Circuit from 1977 to 2004. He was voted District Attorney of the Year in 1987 and again in 2001.

Mr. Keller was appointed to the State Board of Pardons and Paroles by Governor Sonny Perdue in January 2007 and served as the Board’s vice chairman.

Mr. Keller left the Board in November and was appointed by Governor Deal to serve in the Governor’s Office of Transition, Support and Reentry as a deputy director.

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