Commending those honored

Published 11:58 am Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Lunenburg County has had several individuals who, just recently, received recognition and distinguished honors at the state and local level. These individuals have and continue to make an enormous impact in the county.

Arthur Townsend, sheriff of Lunenburg County Sheriff’s Office, was appointed to the Virginia State Crime Commission under Gov. Ralph Northam. The commission studies, reports and makes recommendations for public safety and protection for residents and law enforcement officers in the Commonwealth.

“I’m honored to be chosen by Governor Northam,” Townsend said in a statement, “and able to represent the governor’s office and the county.”

Townsend’s impact in the county, and the sheriff’s office commitment to protecting people in the county cannot be understated. This is his second appointment to the commission in two years, under two different governors. We commend Townsend for his commitment to serving and protecting not just the people in Lunenburg, but to the state as well.

Richard “Dickie” Harris, chief of the Kenbridge Fire Department, recently received a lifetime achievement award during the Virginia State Firefighters Association conference at the beginning of the month for his more than half-century work in ensuring volunteer fire departments are treated fairly in the event that new rules and regulations are presented. He said he has also worked on the state and local level to make sure departments have necessary equipment and material through consistent funding. He served two terms as president of the Virginia State Firefighters Association. We echo the commendation from the association, particularly as Harris is only one of five who received the award since the association’s inception.

Lunenburg Animal Control Officer Ray Elliott was honored by the Lunenburg Board of Supervisors Thursday through a letter of commendation, detailing his going above and beyond his services to the county through the two years, 2016 and 2017, he stayed overnight on Thanksgiving for the Ruff-N-IT campaign. Those fundraisers have exceeded their goals of $12,000 and $15,000 respectively to provide funding for people to get their pets spayed and neutered. Elliott was also commended for his work in a multi-county case involving animal cruelty with the Attorney General’s Office.

“Ray Elliott exemplifies what an Animal Control Officer should be: professional, compassionate and hard working,” a resolution from the board to Elliott said, quoting Senior Assistant Attorney General K. Michelle Welch. “He tracks down every lead in his animal cruelty cases and always pursues justice for the animal victims.” The board commended Deputy Animal Control Officer Noyse King, whose commitment to the office allows the shelter to operate with the efficiency that it does.

Members of Elliott’s family were with him as he received recognition from the board. We extend our pride to Elliott and his family for everything they’ve done to ensure the safety, protection and care of animals throughout the county. In addition, for everything they’ve done to ensure that pet owners receive proper education about pet care, and to help organize community events such as Fairy Tails & Fur.

For these individuals who make such an impact in the county, we’re excited and proud that they have received the level of recognition that they have for their efforts in protecting and assisting the people in the county.

Emily Hollingsworth is a staff reporter for The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Her email address is Emily. Hollingsworth@KVDispatch. com.