GoFundMe set up for expenses
UPDATE 8/14: ADDS visitation at 1 p.m., services at 3 p.m. Monday, Aug. 15, Crossroads Church, Sharpsburg
UPDATE 8/9: ADDS GoFundMe to help family with expenses
UPDATE: ADDS died of natural causes; ADDS city statement; CORRECTS that GSP pilot is not Callaway’s daughter, father of 3; ADDS GBI info
Services for former Morrow Police Chief James Callaway, who served as deputy chief of investigations for the Secretary of State’s Office and who recently had taken a position as Director of Investigations at Georgia POST, will be held at 3 p.m. Monday, August 15 at Crossroads Church, 3260 Georgia Hwy. 15 in Sharpsburg. Visitation begins at 1 p.m. at the church.
Callaway was found dead August 8 at the Georgia Gang Investigators Association Conference in Savannah. The Chatham County Coroner’s Office said it pronounced Callaway dead of natural causes at 1 p.m. at his hotel and said his wife was with him. Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Nelly Miles told The Clayton Crescent that the GBI was not planning an autopsy.
A friend of the family, Graham Denio, says he has the family’s permission to set up a GoFundMe for help with funeral and other expenses. You can make donations online (we shortened the link for your convenience): https://gofund.me/ae444211
Flags are at half-staff at the Morrow Police Department. The City of Morrow issued this statement:
“The City of Morrow is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Retired Police Chief Jimmy Callaway. Chief Callaway joined the Morrow Police Department in 2006, and served as Chief of Police from 2016 until 2020. At the time of his death, Chief Callaway was the Director of State Investigations for the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST). Prior to joining MPD, Chief Callaway served with the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office and the MARTA Police Department; and he has been President of the Georgia Gang Investigators’ Association since 2017. Chief Callaway left a tremendous legacy at MPD, and our team is shocked and saddened by his sudden passing. We ask that you keep the Callaway family, and especially his wife and daughters, in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. Additional information regarding memorial services will be announced as they become available.”
Callaway, who served as GGIA president, was instrumental in extending training opportunities to his fellow law enforcement officers. He also was involved in investigating claims of voter fraud in the November 2020 Presidential election.
Listen: Jimmy Callaway on The Real Story with Robin Kemp
He held a bachelor of science in criminal justice from Columbia Southern University, was a graduate of the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville, and completed a public safety leadership institute at Mercer University and a law enforcment executive development course with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Callaway started his law enforcement career with the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office in 1996, where he served for over 11 years before be became a captain at the Morrow Police Department. A decade later, he was named Morrow’s police chief and served in that capacity for more than four years.
During his time at Morrow, Callaway also gave his time as district representative for the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, then as vice president and then president of the Georgia Gang Investigators Association. He recently spearheaded a mental health workshop for members of local law enforcement.
Callaway also gave of himself in other, less public ways. For example, he was the DJ for “Santa’s Chosen Children,” an annual Christmas party at Morrow Elementary School for kids in need:
You can check out Callaway’s formidable skills as a drummer on his YouTube channel: https://youtube.com/user/jimmycallawaydrums. Here, he wows the crowd in Morrow with the Commodores’ “Brick House”:
And here, he plays “Jesus is Our Messiah” at Stone Point Church:
Callaway leaves behind his wife, Amy Lyke Callaway; three daughters, Katelynn Dollar (Jesse), Ofc. Alexis Callaway, and Abagail Callaway; mother Patricia Hornor (Glenn); sisters Kim Rowan (Greg) and Jennifer Calhoun (Rad); brother Thommy Halfen (Lori).
Editor’s note: I got to know Jimmy Callaway in the course of covering crime and safety, first at the Clayton News-Daily, then at The Clayton Crescent. Jimmy was always a great interview, an intelligent conversationalist, and an endless source of information about big-picture policing. Although we didn’t always agree on everything personally, over the years we also became friends. I will miss Jimmy and send my deepest condolences to his family, colleagues, and friends, who are many. —RK