Manning honored by officials

Published 1:35 pm Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Supervisors in Lunenburg County, along with members of the Lunenburg County Sheriff’s Office and the audience, offered a standing ovation following the presentation of a retirement resolution for Sheriff’s Deputy Joel Manning, a longtime member of the Kenbridge Police Department and the Lunenburg County Sheriff’s Office who retired earlier this summer.

Manning, who most recently worked for the sheriff’s office, serving as the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) officer for the county for 25 years, received a plaque from the sheriff’s office and a resolution of retirement by the

board of supervisors.

“Joel A. Manning served with devotion and distinction for nine years as a distinguished deputy sheriff prior to his retirement,” County Administrator Tracy Gee said, reading the retirement resolution. “The Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors and the Lunenburg County Sheriff’s Department commends Mr. Manning for his years of dedicated service and commitment to the county and the citizens thereof.”

Sheriff Arthur Townsend commended Manning for his time in Lunenburg and Kenbridge.

“Thank you for your 28 years of service in law enforcement, with nine years of service to the community of Lunenburg County,” Townsend said.

The resolution was initially set to be presented in July, but was delayed due to illness in Manning’s family.

Manning spoke following the ceremony, thanking the county and his family for their support. He described his pride in serving the Lunenburg and Kenbridge areas.

“I think being in law enforcement, it’s something that takes a little bit of a constitution, a little bit of upbringing, a little bit of support, a little bit of community support — it’s a well-rounded process and everybody has to participate in it,” Manning said. “Being here in 28 years in one community, it speaks for itself because it helps when people know who you are. People know who you are and when you arrive. They know ‘This man’s going to treat me fair,’ or ‘This woman’s going to treat me fair.’ Everything else falls into place … I commend the sheriff’s office for this, Victoria Police Department, Kenbridge Police Department, all of them have adopted that attitude, and I’m proud to have worked in the county for this long.”

Manning said he would continue to remain active in law enforcement, working part-time with Victoria Police Department.

The sheriff’s office surprised him and his family. Heading into a break room in the Lunenburg Courts building, officers and dispatchers with the Lunenburg County Sheriff’s Office presented Manning with a cake and a gift.

Townsend helped Manning open the gift, which was a quilt with every DARE T-shirt given to students and instructors over the past 10 years. Also sewed onto the quilt was a patch describing Manning’s service in the sheriff’s office.

Chief Dispatcher Jennifer Ball said the quilt was inspired by a part-time dispatcher. Ball’s mother sewed the quilt and other members of the sheriff’s office provided the T-shirts.

Manning said the request for a speech during the ceremony and the gift afterward caught him off guard — but in the best way possible.

“I was definitely surprised,” Manning said.

His wife, Martha Sherwood-Manning and his children were present at the event. Sherwood said she was happy to see the ceremony.

“It was wonderful, absolutely wonderful,” Sherwood-Manning said. “It was very special.”

Townsend and Major D.J. Penland said Manning’s service had more than warranted the ceremony and retirement gifts.

“It’s well deserved,” Townsend said.