In her 30 years with the Cedartown Police Department, Dottie Wood has seen a lot.
She’s worked with five different police chiefs – including W.M. Moss, John Dean, Keith Barber, Henry King and now, Jamie Newsome. She first came on board with the police department as a dispatcher and assisted in the housing of prisoners at the police department office. “That was way before the county 9-1-1 and the new jail. We don’t lock folks up in here anymore, but we used to.”
Probably the best description of her current job now is: what doesn’t she do? She takes care of all office duties, serves as the municipal court clerk and serves as the Georgia Crime Information Center operator and terminal agency coordinator, just to name a few.
There’s plenty she’s seen and experienced in her three decades with CPD, though most funny stories, by her own admission, “aren’t the repeatable kind,” she explains with a laugh. The Blizzard of 1993 is a major event that sticks out in her mind. “Me and one other guy were the only ones in the department with a 4-wheel drive. I remember transporting the officers to answer calls and transporting relief personnel. I’d go home, get a few hours of sleep, then come right back on in.”
Born and raised in Cedartown, hailing from the Bulldog Class of 1981, Wood now lives in Ft. Payne, Ala., with her husband, Jerry Len and a cute little Chihuahua named Annabelle. Her great nieces, Katie and Scarlett, keep her sharp and on her feet.
As to her plans after retirement: “I’m going to take off for a few minutes and then maybe take a part time job somewhere. After being here 30 years, it’s hard leaving. It’s like leaving my second family.”
“It’s rare in today’s world for someone to dedicate 30 years to the same company. The days of people getting a job and staying with that job until retirement age is getting less and less frequent. That’s something you can’t put a price on,” said Police Chief Jamie Newsome. “There are so many things that Dottie has taken upon herself to do over the years, we may not even know how beneficial she has been until there’s a void there.”
Newsome said that the department has hired another individual to take over Wood’s duties. “We have hired someone that’s coming on board to serve in that position, and we know that that person cannot ever replace Dottie, but they can pick up where she left off. She’ll never know how much I appreciate her services and how dependable she’s been. Administratively, she’s always been the go-to person.”
A retirement party will be held for Wood on July 31 at 2 p.m. at City Hall. The public is invited to drop by and wish her well.