Richards earns awards, praise

Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Derek Richards, above, recently placed at the top of his graduating class.

One of Richmond County’s newest deputies is also one of it’s brightest stars.

After joining the Sheriff’s Office in March, Deputy Derek Richards enrolled in Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy’s August session.

Last month, he was honored for the skills and leadership that quickly became apparent to his instructors.

“He graduated with the Top Skills Achievement Award, which covers all the skill sets,” said the academy’s Executive Director David Vice, adding that Richards was a leader in more than just skills, excelling in academia as well.

“He is a student that stuck out because he was eager to help his fellow students, has great work ethic and is going to be a keen officer,” Vice said. “It is very rare to have someone score this high. He has a lot of potential.”

Richards, whose great-uncle Willie Oliff once served as sheriff,  remains humble and excited about his new position in he community.

“This is a great department to be a part of,” Richards said. “The amount of respect that the community gives us is positive and we, as a department, give that respect back.  I have always lived that you have to give respect to get it and that goes a long ways.

Sheriff Douglas Bryant described Richards as a hard worker who is a benefit to the department and the community.

“We are glad to have him,” Bryant said. “And his award goes to show his talent and contribution.”

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