Police honor Kramer with service award

Kramer: 'I'm quite taken back by this'
Jan. 27, 2014 @ 05:42 PM

Thomasville Police Department's annual Megan Murphy Community Service Award is recognition for an individual dedicated to improving the lives of others.

Officers and staff select someone who gives back to the community without looking for anything in return.

Chief Jeff Insley on Jan. 21 presented this year's award to Scott Kramer, a native New Yorker who believes in doing all he can to support those who are there to help others.

“I'm quite taken back by this,” Kramer said. “I work with Chief Insley and all the uniformed officers in town because when you dial 911 these are the people who are going to show up. They are truly the heroes. The women and gentlemen who serve in uniform really deserve these awards.”

Insley five years ago created the award in honor of Murphy, a police department volunteer who continued to donate her time while battling an illness that eventually claimed her life. Insley said Kramer exemplifies what the award stands for by always being there and wanting what's best for the community.

“That's one of the reasons we selected him,” Insley said. “He's been very supportive of our staff and the guys think a lot of him.”

During his time as director of Thomasville Funeral Home, Kramer started an annual civil servants luncheon for all city and county staff. Representatives from different walks of life sharing a similar desire to serve their community enjoyed a free meal and fellowship under one roof, often forming new bonds and developing friendships.

“I'm so happy that I was able to help and contribute,” Kramer said. “This community is quite remarkable.”

Kramer's biggest contribution came in 2011 as the department mourned the loss of one of its own. K-9 Cheko died from an apparent poisoning in March 2011. As officers struggled with Cheko's sudden death, Kramer stepped in and offered to help in any way he could. Two weeks after Cheko died, Kramer held a funeral service for the K-9. More than 150 people attended the service and many who were there said the ceremony helped the healing process.

A few months later, Kramer donated a K-9 memorial  that rests under a tree in front of the department on W. Guilford Street.

“He was very instrumental in bringing that to bear,” said Insley. “We appreciate his involvement and willingness to do whatever without any notoriety or any 'what's in it for me.' I'm probably missing some of the things he did because there were so many.”

For Kramer, the opportunity to help the police department through a difficult time was a great chance to show how much he respected what they do on a daily basis.

“How can you not have feelings for the people who race over to the car that is on fire?” Kramer said. “There is something that always amazed me about people who can do that without any thought or their own self. I find that remarkable.

“I'm a dog person and became friends with John Elgin [Cheko's handler] through our love of dogs. I think a lot of people don't get the connection between service dogs and their handlers. This was an animal that had that need to help and he was taken from John and TPD. I wanted to recognize the commitment of the person and the animal.”

Kramer now works at Cumby Funeral Home in High Point, but said he plans to stay active in the Thomasville community.

Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or duke@tvilletimes.com.