“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.”
- Local News
Man killed in dump truck accident
A man died Wednesday morning after being run over by a dump truck in the driveway of a residence on Hwy. 1016, according to a Kentucky State Police trooper.
Is it spring yet?
Spring doesn’t arrive until March 20, but with a high temperature above 72, Tuesday felt like a preview of spring.
The warm weather drew a number of children and parents to Irvine-McDowell Park where they enjoyed blowing bubbles, swinging and going down the slides.
Madison County residents can expect a rude reminder tonight that spring has not yet arrived as forecasts call for a low temperature in the teens. Some snow was even forecast for this afternoon.
The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory for the area effective from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today calling for steady winds as strong as 30 mph and gusts up to 45 mph.
Bids for EOC expansion opened
Dozens of contractors packed into the Madison Fiscal Court meeting Tuesday morning as 42 bids were opened for the expansion of the county’s Emergency Operations Center.
The project was divided into a dozen separate categories, such as paving, roofing and electrical work. Contractors also could bid on combinations of the categories for one price. After being opened and read, the bids will be reviewed before a decision is made, said Judge/Executive Kent Clark.
Man charged with assaulting BPD officers
A Berea man was charged Tuesday with felony assault after spitting blood at police officers, according to a Berea Police Department report.
Troy R. Collins, 24, also was charged with third-degree terroristic threatening, disorderly conduct and alcohol intoxication in a public place.
Democratic House leaders release budget
Democratic House leaders unveiled their 2014-2016 state budget Tuesday amid complaints from Republicans that it was hatched in the dark and lawmakers were asked to vote on it without sufficient time to study it.
The two-year, $20.3 billion dollar spending plan looks a lot like that proposed by Gov. Steve Beshear, but it makes some changes including spending a bit less on school textbooks and preschool and adds about $1 billion in debt.
RAAC Celtic Festival is Friday
Irish music, dancing and food will be featured as the Richmond Area Arts Council celebrates Kentucky’s Celtic heritage Friday evening.
The event is from 6 to 8 p.m. at RAAC, 399 W. Water St.
Fundraising concert for international tour Sunday
The Berea College Concert Choir will travel on a 15-day concert tour to Spain and Portugal from May 7 to May 21.
Music faculty members Dr. Stephen Bolster, conductor; Lindsay Clavere, pianist; Dr. Javier Clavere, organist; and math professor Sandra Bolster, chaperone; will lead choir members on a trip to several Spanish and Portuguese cities, including Barcelona, Valencia, Cordoba, Granada, Seville, Faro and Lisbon.
St. Baldrick’s and St. Patrick’s
You may walk into the Paddy Wagon Irish Pub this weekend with an empty stomach and a full head of hair.
Police: Heroin found in home
A Detroit man and two Richmond residents were charged Friday morning after Richmond bike patrol officers and narcotics detectives executed a search warrant on a Dee Dee Drive home.
Unveiling set for today
FRANKFORT — Monday is typically a light day in the General Assembly – few committee meetings and a late starting time to allow lawmakers to travel back to Frankfort.
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