|Graduates of the first Citizen Sheriff’s Academy enjoy helping the community|
Staff Photo by Leigh Prom:
Graduates of the first Citizen’s Sheriff’s Academy met recently for an alumni association meeting.
Monday, August 13, 2012
By LEIGH PROM - Staff Writer
Since completing the first Citizen Sheriff's Academy on May 29, the graduates, who are all volunteers, have helped with funeral traffic, prepare the patrol boat at Smith Mountain Lake, and with fingerprinting and video visitation at the county jail.
This summer, the academy volunteers provided traffic control at the funeral of firefighter Dr. John Echternach Jr., who died in the line of duty on June 29.
"They were very helpful to assist with parking at the church and getting folks where they needed to go," said Ben Clements with Flora Funeral Service. "We really appreciated them being there. Their assistance allowed us to better help the family."
At an alumni meeting Tuesday evening, Franklin County Sheriff Bill Overton praised the graduates. "You all just did a super job," he said, helping with the funeral parking.
After the meeting, Academy Alumni Association President Dana Newton said the members have "different areas of expertise with different life skills. These retirees still have a lot to offer. It's their way of giving back."
One retiree in the group is Ted Trexler, who helped prepare the sheriff's office's new patrol boat at Smith Mountain Lake for service. The boat, which was unveiled in June, is being used to enforce laws, especially OUI laws, and conduct water safety checks.
The volunteers are also assisting residents with fingerprinting for job applications and with video visitation with inmates at the Western Virginia Regional Jail in Roanoke County, according to Capt. Mark Torbert with the sheriff's office.
"The information I've gotten back on what you folks are doing is absolutely phenomenal," Torbert told the volunteers Tuesday night. "Make no mistake about it, the service you're providing is very well received and certainly appreciated by the deputies."
Anyone interested in the academy should contact Torbert at firstname.lastname@example.org.