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Officers honored in conjunction with Black History Month

Several members of the local law enforcement and first-responders community were honored at a ceremony Thursday in conjunction with Black History Month.

Kanawha Family Court Judge Sharon Mullens thanked them for their years of service to the community and their dedication to the job.

"This is a celebration of courage and the constant truth that the power of one can affect many," Mullens said.

Attorney Jeff Woods also spoke at the ceremony and praised the difference those men and women make in the community.

"We all have an obligation to leave this world a little bit better than when we arrived," Woods said.

Those honored were:

Sgt. C.A. "Tony" Bolland, a 25-year member of the West Virginia State Police.

Lt. Reginald Patterson, a 17-year member of the West Virginia State Police.

Lt. George L. Henderson Jr., the first black city bus driver, retired Charleston Police officer with 30 years service, Yeager Airport Police officer for seven years and former head of the Charleston Police Commission. 

Lt. Richard L. James, the first black Charleston Police captain, first black lieutenant and first black chief of detectives.

James L. Johnson, former Charleston Police patrol sergeant and currently investigator for the West Virginia Civil Rights Commission.

Ivin B. Lee, former executive director of the WV Human Rights Commission and former corporal and sergeant for the Charleston Police Department and former chief of police of Dunbar.

Dallas S. Staples, former chief of the Charleston Police Department.

Deputy James R. Craig, deceased, former member of the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department and D.A.R.E. instructor.

Carl O'Neal, nominated as Deputy of the Year with the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department.

Gale A. Teare, former Victim Services Coordinator with the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department.

Calvin H. Hicks, former captain with the Charleston Fire Department.

Matthew P. Jackson, former member of the Charleston Fire Department, holding the ranks of lieutenant, captain, training officer and acting assistant chief.

Chuck Overstreet, first black chief and current chief of the Charleston Fire Department.

Kenneth E. Tyree Jr., former Charleston firefighter and currently captain of the Fire Prevention Bureau.

Those honored in memoriam:

Charleston Police Department - Harvey Bush, Edward Clark, Robert Easley and Edward Leonard; Kanawha County Sheriff's Department - Jail matron Dorothy Singleton; Charleston Fire Department - George Coats, R. E. McCormick and Thurmon "Pecks" Straughter; West Virginia State Police - Barrington Gore.

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