“It was a job I really put my heart into.”
Billy Warren acknowledged that the job of a Richmond police officer is dangerous, but he said he has no regrets from his six years on the force.
Warren became the first black Richmond police officer when he was hired by the city council in 1963. He was honored Thursday night at the Ashler Lodge No. 49’s 2013 Appreciation of Achievement Awards Banquet.
“I (joined the RPD) to open up jobs for other African-Americans,” The 81-year-old said Wednesday.
About a year after he was hired, the RPD hired its second black officer, Willie Joe Covington.
Warren already had served 10 years in the United States Air Force when he became a police officer. He was drafted into the armed forces in 1950, and served in several places, including Hawaii, Japan and Kwajalein Atoll.
“We were on a rock for 12 months,” Warren said of the the tiny Pacific island with a laugh.
While a member of the local police force, Warren mainly worked the overnight (graveyard) shift as a patrolman. He recalled working several homicide scenes.
“You get it all on the graveyard shift … you catch it all,” Warren said.
The former officer said although some people in the community were surprised at the city’s hiring of a black officer, the fact that he was a local man, born and raised in Madison County, helped people accept the change.
Warren is the son of Jave Warren and Ivory (Smith) Warren. He attended Grapevine Elementary School and Richmond High School prior to integration.
Warren left the RPD in 1969 and later retired after 25 years in civil service. He is married to Kathy Warren.
The city has changed a great deal since Warren was an officer, and he is pleased that more blacks have been integrated into community leadership roles. However, he would like to see more minority officers serving with the RPD.
“There should be more than there is now,” Warren said.
Although he did not make police work a career, Warren said he enjoyed the being an officer.
“If I had to do it over, I’d take the job,” Warren said.
Sarah Hogsed can be reached at email@example.com or 624-6694.
“It was a job I really put my heart into.”
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Eggs fly at park
Easter has probably never been so “eggstravagant” in Richmond as it was Saturday during the annual Eggstravaganza in Irvine-McDowell Park.
For the first time, thousands of eggs were dropped, appropriately by an “eggbeater”-type helicopter, in addition to thousands of eggs already scattered on the grass below. Together, they numbered about 10,000, according to Erin Moore, Richmond Parks and Recreation director.
City awaits funds for Water Street project
Richmond city officials are still awaiting word on grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the Water Street drainage project.
However, Mayor Jim Barnes said he is confident the money should come through by May 1.
Elementary schools built in ‘60s getting upgrades
Renovation of three Madison County elementary schools built in Richmond during the 1960s will start this summer.
The county school board voted Thursday to continue with the second phase of state paperwork required for the projects.
With a target completion date of August 2015, renovations and alterations at Daniel Boone, Kit Carson and White Hall elementary schools are estimated to cost almost $12 million.
KY 52 link to I-75 to be discussed May 13
While a proposed link from Nicholasville to Exit 95 on Interstate 75 north of Richmond has garnered attention and organized opposition, the state also is developing plans to link I-75 to another community to the west.
May 30 last school day for students
After 16 snows days and two weather delays this winter, the Madison County School Board decided Thursday to end the school year on Friday, May 30.
Students showcase projects in Technology Extravaganza
Madison County School students showed off just how tech savvy they can be during the district’s sixth annual Technology Extravaganza on Thursday at Madison Central High School. After the showcase, more than 350 students were honored for their work.
Ward honored for service; tech center named after him
Retired Madison County educator Jesse Ward was recognized Thursday for his many years of service. To honor him, Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the board’s decision to rename the district’s technology training center on North Second Street in Richmond the Jesse P. Ward Technology and Training Center.
Berea man indicted on 24 child porn counts
A Madison grand jury has indicted a Berea man on 24 counts related to child pornography.
Brian J. Smith, 26, is charged with four counts of distribution and 20 counts of possession of matter portraying sexual performances by a minor.
Police apprehend burglary suspect
An observant witness was able to help Richmond police catch a burglary suspect shortly after a break-in Thursday afternoon on Savanna Drive off Berea Road.
Walkers, runners of every age ‘Pack the Track’
Waco Elementary and Model Laboratory schools students raised more than $8,000 (and counting) for the annual Pack the Track event at Eastern Kentucky University’s Tom Samuels Track Thursday, said Kim DeCoste of the Madison County Diabetes Coalition.
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