Senoia Optimists honor the men in blue


Members of local law enforcement were spotlighted recently by the Senoia Optimist Club at its annual ‘Respect for Law’ program. Participating in the event were Senoia Police Chief Jason Edens and Sgt. Evan Kilgore and Coweta County Sheriff Mike Yeager. 

Chief Edens introduced Sgt. Kilgore who was selected by his peers in the Senoia Police Department as the “Officer of the Year.” Sgt. Kilgore joined the local department four years ago upon graduating from the police academy.

“Sgt. Kilgore was recently promoted to his current position after making great strides in his career,” Edens said.

Citing an example of the officer’s dedication, Edens recounted Kilgore’s response to a call regarding a shoplifter at a local business. After apprehending the suspect and placing her in the back seat of the police car, she experienced a medical emergency. Officer Kilgore pulled her out of the car and started CPR until the paramedics arrived. Fortunately, the suspect survived the ordeal thanks in large part to the quick action by Officer Kilgore, said Edens.

 Senoia Optimist Club President Phil Downey presented Sgt. Kilgore with a plaque to commemorate his selection as this year’s “Officer of the Year.”

Sheriff Mike Yeager thanked the Senoia Optimists for their ongoing support of law enforcement in Senoia and Coweta County.

For a number of years, the Senoia Club has made a donation to the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes, club members said. As a past president of this special organization that helps young people, Sheriff Yeager discussed the impact that the homes have on the youth who live there. He related how the youth are given opportunities that they would have otherwise not had through their association with the youth homes.

Tony Bell, Governor of the GATEway Optimist District and Senoia Optimist Club member and Senoia Club President Phil Downey presented Sheriff Yeager with a check for the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes.

In July 1965, a discussion between Past Optimist International President Carl Bowen and former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover resulted in the birth of the Respect for Law program. This is one of the most popular programs conducted by Optimist International with more than 1,500 clubs participating last year.

The Optimist Club of Senoia is part of an international organization whose motto is “Friend of Youth”. Meeting the needs of young people in communities worldwide, Optimist Clubs have been “Bringing Out the Best in Kids” since 1919. Optimist Clubs conduct positive service projects aimed at providing a helping hand to youth.

Guests are welcomed at the Senoia Optimist Club’s meetings that are normally scheduled to start at 6 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays of each month at Katie Lou’s Cafe on Main Street. Details about club meetings and activities are often posted on the club’s Facebook page (“Senoia Optimist Club”). 

For more information email the club at or contact any member of the Senoia club.

To learn more about Optimist International, visit the organization’s website at