Police chief to deliver commencement address

Police chief to deliver commencement address

Posted on Friday, May 03, 2019

Portrait of Lou Dekmar

Louis M. Dekmar, Chief of Police for the LaGrange Police Department for 25 years, will be the featured speaker at LaGrange College’s 188th annual commencement ceremony at 8:30 a.m. May 18 on the Residential Quad.

Dr. Phil Schroeder, director of the Center for Congregational Excellence for the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, will be the baccalaureate speaker at 5 p.m. May 17 at First United Methodist Church.

Dekmar has served as a federal monitor for the U.S. Department of Justice, civil rights division.  He is an international presenter for police leaders and elected officials on a range of topics involving leadership, ethics, law enforcement management and liability issues, and has provided numerous training programs to police chiefs, elected officials and other law enforcement personnel in more than 20 states and several countries.  In 2014, he addressed the United Nations Police in Oslo, Norway, on the topic of international law enforcement standards.

He has been in law enforcement for 41 years in careers that range from police officer and detective to division commander to police chief. He has been chief of public safety for the City of LaGrange since 1995. Prior to that, he was police chief for City of Morrow, Georgia, and had 10 years in law enforcement in Wyoming.

He is past-president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and past president and chair of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, having served in that role five of his 10 years on the commission.  He is past president of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police and a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.  In 2004, he was selected as the delegation leader for the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange that traveled to Israel for a two-week training exchange with the Israel National Police. He currently serves on the board for GILEE.          

Dekmar is a former council member for the Georgia Peace Officer’s Standards and Council, serving on the probable cause committee and a past member of the Georgia Board of Public Safety, which provides policy oversight for the Georgia State Patrol, Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia Public Safety Training Center.

A native of Oregon, Dekmar is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice from the University of Wyoming and a master’s degree in public administration from Georgia College and State University.  He is also an adjunct professor for several colleges and institutions.

In 2019, Dekmar received the National Council for Behavioral Health’s Visionary Leadership award for an international initiative involving police response to mental illness. Other honors include an honorary doctorate degree in 2018 from Central Police University, Taipei, Taiwan, and the National Constables and Marshalls Association’s “Service Above and Beyond” Award. In 2017, he was presented the ADL-Kay Family Award at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Prosecutor’s “Headlight Award” for racial trust building, NOBLE Robert Lamb Humanitarian Award and the Troup County NAACP Leadership Award.

He also received the 2014 CALEA Egon Bittner Award, 2009 Georgia Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement and Contribution to the Law Enforcement Profession, 2005 LaGrange College Servant-Leadership Award, 1997 Georgia Outstanding Police Chief of the Year and the Police Valor Medal for Bravery in 1978.

Dekmar is married to Carmen Dekmar and they have two children, Chris and Cathy.

Phil Schroeder baccalaureateDr. Schroeder graduated from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in marketing and healthcare administration. He earned master’s degrees in business administration and divinity from the dual degree program in business and theology at Emory University.

During his doctoral work at United Theological Seminary, he completed three books – “Using the Five Senses to Tell God’s Story: Children’s Sermons for the New Common Lectionary – Years A, B & C.” He is also co-author of “The Stewardship Journey, “The Capacity for More” and “More than Just One Neighbor,” based on the parable of the Good Samaritan. His most recent book, “Small Church Check-up,” with co-author Kay Kotan was published last year.

He has taught religious leadership and administration, evangelism and preaching at the Candler School of Theology as well as with the North Georgia Conference’s New Church Leadership Academy. He has also taught in the leadership track at Wesley Seminary in its Doctor of Ministry Program. His previous appointments include Connectional Ministries, Grayson UMC, Peachtree Road UMC, Gainesville First UMC, Stark UMC and Lowell UMC.

He and his wife, Elizabeth, have been married more than 32 years and have three children, Daniel, Kathryn ’08 and Paul.


Video of the week


Campus notes

Dr. Anthony Wilson, Dr. Nickie Cauthen and Dr. Chris Bellon pose with their awards after Honors Day

Three faculty members received top awards during this year’s Honors Day program. From left are Dr. Anthony Wilson, Associate Professor of English, who received the Vulcan Materials Company Teaching Excellence Award; Dr. Nickie Cauthen, Associate Professor of Biology, who received the John R. Hines Jr. Undergraduate Research Award; and Dr. Chris Bellon, Director of Sport Performance for Exercise Science and Department Chair, who received the 2018-2019 General Board of Higher Education and Ministry Exemplary Teacher Award.

The college recognized outstanding students and faculty members during its annual Honors Day program on April 26. Read the list of winners here.

The annual Step Sing competition will be at 3 p.m. Saturday in Callaway Auditorium.

As the last week of classes rolls around, there will be several events to help students unwind and de-stress. Lewis Library will host its annual Color Me Calm, beginning Monday. The library will have tables set up with coloring sheets, markers and crayons available for students to take a break from studying. The library is extending its hours, staying open until midnight, starting Monday and continuing through the end of finals. On Tuesday, the ever-popular Pause for Paws will be in the Boopie from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Pizza on the Plaza, sponsored by the SGA, will be at 9 p.m., followed by the Cabinet’s annual late-night breakfast to students at 10 p.m. Thursday in Pitts Dining Hall. On Thursday, A stress-free zone will be set up on the plaza from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Counseling Center, the event will feature massages from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and crafts such as decorate your own picture frame, make your own stress balls and dreamboards and painting and mosaic coloring. The week will end with coffee on the plaza at 8 a.m. Friday, with snacks at PACE all day and a doughnut break in the Spiritual Life Center at 9 a.m.

Sports Management will be busy this week. The annual Sports Management Gala will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Del’avant. Warren Parr, director of ticket sales for the Atlanta Falcons, will be the keynote speaker. There will be a silent auction and raffle for such items as NFL, NBA and MLB signed memorabilia, including two signed Falcons mini-helmets and one full-sized signed Falcons helmet. Tickets are $10 for students and $20 for the general public and will include dinner and music. On Wednesday, the Sports Management Club is sponsoring The Panther Cup, an Esports tournament for duo/squads playing Fortnite, from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Beacon Brewing Co., 700 Lincoln St. For more information, contact Dr. Preston James at

Dr. John Tures, Political Science Professor, was recently interviewed by WDEL radio in Wilmington, Delaware, about the Easter Bombings of Christian churches, and the Sri Lankan government’s response.


Cultural Enrichment events


  • LaGrange College Band and Percussion Ensemble concert, 7 p.m., Callaway Auditorium


  • Department of Education: Graduate Program Research Symposium, 5:30 p.m., Dickson Assembly Room
  • Digital Creative Media and Film Showcase, 7 p.m., Beason Recital Hall at West Side


Paying it forward

May 3, 2019 Panther meter shows 493 alumni donors

LC alumni, it’s getting down to the wire. Remember those professors who cared about you, going above and beyond for you? And those classmates who became lifelong friends? Others stepped up then to help you, and now it’s your turn. Consider giving back and helping current students through donor-funded scholarships and campus resources. Help reach this year’s goal of 1,100 alumni by making a gift before June 30. Any amount helps.



2019 baseball team poses for a group photo after winning the USA South conference championship

The LaGrange baseball team won a record third-straight USA South Tournament Championship, rallying to beat Greensboro 7-5 on Sunday at Cleaveland Field in Williamson Stadium. Sophomore outfielder Judd Moore was the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, batting .529 and having seven RBIs in the four games. Cael Chatham, E.J. Churchich, Austin Fain, Jack Layrisson and Trey Pearce joined Moore on the All-Tournament team. With the win, the Panthers received the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. LC is ranked 19th in the current Top 25 poll.


In the headlines

Panthers earn come-from-behind win – LaGrange Daily News, April 27, 2019

Three-peat for Panthers – LaGrange Daily News, April 30, 2019

Panther pitcher beats the Freeze – LaGrange Daily News, April 30, 2019

Dekmar to deliver commencement address at LaGrange College – LaGrange Daily News, May 1, 2019


Category: Service, Academics, College, Students, Events, Faculty

Keywords: commencement, baccalaureate, sports management, stress-free, Honors Day, baseball

Press Contact

Debby Baker

Last updated: 05/03/2019