“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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6694.
“It was a job I really put my heart into.”
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My fair ladies
10th Quilt Extravaganza is Friday, Saturday
Displays of quilts by men, baby quilts, the Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern, an exhibit of feed sack fabric, ongoing demonstrations, and a vendors market are features of the 10th Berea Quilt Extravaganza Friday and Saturday at Berea Community School off Ellipse Street.
RPD: Heroin sales lead to trafficking indictment
Executing a warrant issued after Samantha Frederick, 29, Northgate Drive, was indicted July 16 by a Madison County grand jury, Richmond Police arrested her Monday on drug trafficking charges.
YMCA, county district to provide after-school care
The Telford YMCA is partnering with the Madison County School District to provide after-school child care for kindergarten and elementary students.
YMCA Executive Director Dave Wallace and Madison County School Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the partnership Monday afternoon.
Memories bloom in May’s garden
After realizing a story was being written about 96-year-old Lucille May, tenants of Willis Manor gathered in the lobby to share stories about her.
Affectionately called “Mamaw” by other residents and workers at the apartment building, May has spent the four years of her residence transforming an outdoor garden that was overtaken by weeds. It’s now a thriving flowerbed, complete with interesting rocks, decorations and conversation.
Water Street storm-water digging begins
Caisson holes were drilled and then filled with concrete and steel poles Monday to create a retaining structure to shore up the Allstate Insurance building foundations' firm when excavation for the Water Street Stormwater Improvement Project begins.
Digging for 20 ton, 6 by 7 foot concrete box culverts will begin today, if weather permits, said Jason Hart, Richmond’s director of Planning and Zoning. The culverts will help reduce the likelihood of flooding on Water Street by carrying storm water under Main Street, the CVS parking lot and Irvine Street to a stream, he said.
RPD: Bottle bomb injures man, damages neighbor’s home
Richmond Police on Friday charged Robert Abney, 30, of Moberly Avenue, in connection with a May 30 explosion that injured Abney and damaged a neighbor’s home.
Officers were dispatched May 30 to a residence in the 500 block of Moberly Avenue to investigate the report of an explosion.
They found the remains of a plastic bottle bomb near a residence adjoining Moberly’s, according to an RPD news release. A wall of the occupied home was smoldering and grass was burned in the area, it added.
Two led police on I-75 chase from Berea
Berea Police found a man passed out and intoxicated inside his crashed vehicle on Interstate 75 Wednesday, according to a police report.
Steven Coffey, 34, of Berea, had slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet when officers arrived at the vehicle, the police report stated. They determined he was under the influence of drugs, the report stated.
A race to the finish line
Sheltered by overcast sky and supported by a cool breeze, teams competed Saturday morning in the second annual HeartChase at Richmond Centre.
Hops & Vine Festival raises money for humane society
Downtown Richmond’s Hops and Vine Festival started more than two years ago with a question.
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