Savannah Police Department Corporal Janessa Stalter recently received the prestigious 2022 Public Service Award presented by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 660.
Stalter graciously accepted the award, which included a generous check. Rather than keep the money, though, Stalter felt it within her heart to donate the funds to the 200 Club, which cares for the family members of fallen first responders. As a first responder herself, the cause is near and dear to Stalter.
Club President & CEO Mark Dana accepted the donation from Stalter, praising her generosity and willingness to help so many in the community which, he pointed out, certainly must have been a critical factor in her selection as the VFW’s most recent Service Award winner.
“The many family members served by the 200 Club and the organization’s leadership are always amazed by these types of selfless acts that keep the club focused on raising the funds necessary to carry out our core mission,” Dana said. “We thank Corporal Stalter for her compassion and kindness, as do the families of her fallen brothers and sister.”
Stalter has enjoyed a long, successful law-enforcement career. Before that, she was an educator in the Savanah-Chatham County area public and private school systems. She graduated in 1994 from the P.O.S.T. Academy and, in 2000, earned her P.O.S.T. Instructor credentials. In 1994, she began her career with the City of Savannah Police Department and, within three years, she became a corporal. Over the course of her 28-year career, Stalter has spent time as a detective with the Criminal Investigation Bureau, the Tactical Response and Prevention (“TRAP”) Unit, and the Crime Suppression Unit.
In 2014, along with Officer Meg Whitfield, she started the Tourism Oriented Policing Unit, where she currently works. The unit is assigned to the Northwest Precinct in the downtown historic area. The role of this unit is to maintain safety and address quality-of-life issues for residents, tourists, and businesses. It’s common to find Stalter walking, riding a bicycle or a Segway through the downtown streets, where she shares her knowledge and joy of the City of Savannah while speaking to and assisting those she meets.
In May 2021, Stalter was named the Savannah Police Department’s “Officer of The Month.” When nominated for the honor, it was noted that Stalter is a compassionate advocate for the homeless population. Most homeless individuals know her as “Matilda” and specifically ask for her because they know she will treat them with dignity and respect, as she sincerely listens to them, links them up to helpful resources, or pulls blankets or clothing out of her patrol car for them. Stalter has trained countless officers throughout her career and is always liked by those she instructs, as they appreciate her ethical values, patience, principles, and willingness to lead by example.
Stalter is an original member of the Georgia VIII, Savannah Chapter, of the Blue Knights police motorcycle club, which she helped to establish. She also enjoys serving as an official for volleyball, basketball, and softball games.
The 200 Club of the Coastal Empire is a 501(c) (3) organization who “cares for those who care for us” by providing significant financial assistance for surviving spouses and dependents of first responders who have lost their lives or sustained critical injuries in the line of duty. The organization serves a 20-county area within Georgia and South Carolina. All proceeds from this event will directly support the families of fallen heroes. The 200 Club provides significant financial assistance to the surviving family members and provides a fully paid college education – including tuition, room and board, textbooks, and a computer. To date, the organization has given over $3.8 million to families and have become a respected voice of the community’s appreciation for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. For more information, go to our200club.com, call 912-721-4418 or email info@our200Club.com.