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VFW Post 12149 honors trio of public servants
James Woodcock
Police Chief Paul Wynn (center) watches as VFW Post 12149 Commander Cleveland Williams (left) congratulates Sgt. James Woodcoch for receiving a Public Service Award Citation on Dec. 15. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

 SPRINGFIELD — Sgt. James Woodcock of the Springfield Police Department was on the receiving end of a citation at City Hall on Dec. 15.

No, the longtime officer wasn’t caught speeding or running a stop sign. Instead, he was caught doing his job well.

VFW Post 12149 honored Woodcock by presenting him with the VFW Public Servant Award Citation. The VFW presents the award annually to individuals who have performed above and beyond their peers by placing the safety and welfare of others above their own. 

A statement read by VFW member Henry Walker Jr. said Woodcock has “exhibited tireless dedication and compassion in every aspect of his job. His determination has helped build a strong foundation within the police department, which has benefited everyone in the community. His strong family values and exceptional character are displayed daily.”

Walker, reading comments by Police Chief Paul Wynn, went on to say that Woodcock is “an outstanding team player.”

Woodcock appeared stunned while accepting the citation and a special VFW badge in front of family members and friends.

“What a surprise,” he said incredulously. “Did y’all know about this?”

Woodcock, a member of the Springfield Police Department since 2013, said he was honored by the VFW’s gesture.

“I had no idea what was going on when all these people started walking in the door,” he said. “It makes you feel good. I like being appreciated.

“Everybody does.”

Woodcock added that the award isn’t solely his.

“Being successful and productive in Springfield is only possible because of strong family support and a solid team on the job,” he said. “My wife Erin is unbelievable, supportive, and I could not succeed without her.  When at work, the team I have is the best and the other reason for success.

“Chief Wynn is a strong mentor. When I am overwhelmed, I can lean on him and the rest of the team for help. They deserve as much credit as anyone. This isn’t and never will be a one-man show.”

Officer Darrien Vance of the Rincon Police Department and Effingham County Emergency Medical Services Operations Manager Bob Summers also received VFW Public Servant Award Citations last week.