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Pooler Magazine

Francis Morris & Pooler PD: Beyond the Badge

Francis Morris & Pooler PD: Beyond the Badge


Sergeant Francis Morris of the Pooler Police Department (PD) has been serving as one of Pooler’s Finest since 2010. Born in Ohio and raised in Kentucky, Morris moved to the local area in 1995 and has been proud to call Pooler home ever since. It is of little surprise that this man in blue represents the Best of Pooler.

“You have to have a heart for the job. It’s about making a difference. It’s about doing something to give back. It’s about changing people’s lives,” he says.

Duty and Diligence

Morris serves as watch commander. He is also a field training officer, training nearly half of his department over the years. The sergeant loves his profession and has taken pride in being on patrol his entire career.

“Patrol is where it’s at for me. My heart is with my guys and with the community,” he says. With more than 300 hours of management training alone, Morris strives to embody exemplary leadership skills while training new recruits in a character-driven, principled manner.

“I train them to always be honest, to always be respectful and to always have courage. My focus is to lead people to be better people,” he says.

Inspired to Serve

Morris recalls one of the biggest moments in his life that influenced his decision to become a police officer.

“It was an interaction with an officer when I was 16-years-old that I keep near and dear to my heart,” he says.

Morris remembers it like it was just yesterday. One morning, Morris and a couple of his friends decided to go to the nearby lake for a swim day rather than go to school. The boys couldn’t wait to enjoy their day. On the way there, they heard sirens. Seeing a Kentucky State Trooper behind him, young Morris was utterly terrified and immediately pulled over.

As the officer approached the car and looked in, Morris and his friends were a ball of nerves. The officer informed him that he was speeding. Aware the officer knew it was a school day, Morris explained that they were headed to the lake to go swimming. After obtaining Morris’ information, the officer went back to his car for a few minutes. What happened next would change Morris’ life forever.

“He comes back to the car, pulls his hat up, winks at me and says, ‘You boys have fun … have a good day,’ and he walks away. That interaction with him and how he responded gave me a lot of respect for law enforcement officers,” he says.

Appreciating the honor, integrity and respect that the badge represents, Morris prides himself in consistently showing that respect, knowing it makes a world of difference. “When respect is earned, it is given. I believe deeply in that. I always try to treat others with respect and dignity; it doesn’t matter who they are,” he says.        

Making A Difference

With Pooler’s rapid growth over the past decade, the Pooler PD team has also grown—going from about 20 officers in 2010 to more than 60 officers presently. The department remains diligent about their service to the city and about their ongoing presence and visibility throughout the community. Understanding that I-95 and I-16 run through the city, officers strive to be prepared to meet any challenges head on, helping to keep Pooler a safe place to live, work and play.

“Our chief preaches the importance of officer presence in both residential and business areas,” Morris says.

Gratitude

Morris is grateful to the individuals who have loved and supported him throughout his life. He is incredibly thankful for his fiancée Sherri Lovezzola, who is always there for him.

“I love spending time with her. I met her at Lovezzola’s while dining there,” he says.

Morris has the utmost appreciation for his department and the entire Pooler team that helps make his job a success—those who sincerely have the city’s best interest at heart.

“We honestly have one of the best departments in Southeast Georgia. We look out for each other and help each other strive to be the best we can be. Our city’s seal says: ‘Pride, Family, Honor’—we stick to that. We’re not only co-workers, we’re also family. I’m blessed to be in this community. We have a great chief, a great mayor, a great city manager. God is great all the time; without Him, we are nothing.”

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