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Wayne McKinnon - 40 Years Employment With The City of DOTHAN

Rickey Stokes

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Posted by: RStokes
[email protected]
Date: Nov 04 2019 11:30 PM

DOTHAN:     At Tuesday's Dothan Commission Meeting they are set to recognize Wayne McKinnon for 40 years employment with the City of Dothan.

In Wayne's 40 years with the City of Dothan that means there has been 10 Mayor and Commissioner elections. No Mayor in the history of the City of Dothan, as I understand, has ever served more than two terms. A term is four years.

Retired Dothan City Manager Mike West remained in Dothan, from memory, 14 years. But wonder how many City Managers Wayne McKinnon has seen come and go during his 40 years.

Wayne McKinnon worked in the Engineering Department. Not sure the name of the department now. But a long time responsibility of Wayne's has been the management of information for 911 within the city limits of Dothan.

So Wayne is the person behind collecting the data to address your property to be input into Computer Aided Dispatch in order to send emergency help should they be needed.

In late 1986 or January 1987 Dothan Police Officer Robert Hawlett drown in Lake Eufaula. Officer Hawlett had been on a fishing trip with other officers and drown. It was Wayne McKinnon who went to Lake Eufaula and dove in the cold waters and recovered the body of Officer Hawlett. While it was in Henry County, I was Houston County Coroner at the time. Out of respect of Robert Hawlett being a Dothan Police Officer and being a friend of mine, I responded to Henry County and transported Officer Hawlett's body to the medical examiner and funeral home.

Officer Hawlett is the father of Tracie Hawlett that was murdered with J.B. Beasley in Ozark Alabama.

From recovering Officer Hawlett's body the Houston County Rescue Unit Dive Team was formed. A lot of law enforcement and fireman joined the dive team. From the late 1986 or January 1987 Wayne has been the constant factor that has remained in the dive team. He recently retired.

A car ran into the pond at Wiregrass Commons Mall on day. Then Dothan Police Chief John White immediately called Wayne McKinnon and said grab your dive gear because Chief White was about to wheel around the Dothan Civic Center and pick Wayne up.

With Chief White running lights and siren from downtown Dothan to Wiregrass Commons Mall Wayne was in the backseat of Chief White's police vehicle changing from clothes to dive gear to enter the water and save someone.

This past week Dothan-Houston County Emergency Management Director Chris Judah had Wayne McKinnon called. A occupied vehicle ran into Bear Creek on Highway 84 West at Bay Springs. Anyone who knows Wayne knows he always keeps emergency dive gear in his vehicle for such emergencies.

So most emergency responders who have been around a while knows when a underwater emergency rises, call Wayne.

WAYNE, first BLESS YOU - BLESS YOU - BLESS YOU for the survival of 40 years employment with the City of Dothan. 

WAYNE, THANK YOU for your consistent dedication to volunteer service. For your willingness to enter dark waters where you could not see your hand in front of you in order to recover someone's loved one to give them peace.

WAYNE, THANK YOU for your preparation of always having the equipment to respond to potential water rescue's when called and needed to respond immediately.

WAYNE, THANK YOU for the consistent accuracy in providing detailed information to Rhonda, Carol and Pam for input into Computer Aided Dispatch. You have been a unknown hero of quietly doing your job correctly so information is input correctly in order for emergency services to have the proper location to respond. There is no way to measure the lives you have saved because you were in the background doing your job. And by doing so emergency responders knew where to go.

What does the future hold for Wayne? No one said he is leaving. But it has to be a great feeling to know that any day he can tell his know when you saw me leaev yesterday? That was my last day!


Wayne McKinnon - 40 Years Employment With The City of DOTHAN

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