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Wright promoted to lieutenant - Independent-Messenger: News

Wright promoted to lieutenant

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Posted: Tuesday, December 26, 2017 12:00 am

Law enforcement has been a part of Jerry Wright’s life since he was a teenager so it should come as no surprise that he has been promoted at the Emporia Police Dept. from Sgt. to Lt. of the Detective Division.

Wright began as a volunteer with the Emporia Police Dept. when he was 18 years old as part of the City Watch program. Citizens volunteer for the program, which is similar to Citizens on Patrol.

In 1993, he started his law enforcement career for the Virginia Dept. of Corrections in Brunswick County. He left that job in 1994 and became a dispatcher at the Emporia Police Dept. because he wanted to help people more than the opportunity of working at the prison provided him.

In 1996, he was hired as a patrol deputy by the Greensville County Sheriff’s Office. A position he stayed in until 2003.

While serving as a deputy Wright received an unexpected opportunity to help someone. For one woman, he was a knight in shining armor when she needed it the most.

There was a fire at a local apartment complex in the County. He responded and found a woman in a wheelchair still inside of the burning apartment. Wright pulled the woman out of the burning structure and helped her into an ambulance that was waiting to take her to the hospital.

He didn’t feel like he did anything special but to the woman he saved he was an Angel sent by God to save her with only moments to spare. In 2003, he left the Sheriff’s Office to return to the Emporia Police Dept. Over the years he worked as a K-9 handler for two years, served as a field training officer and in 2006 was assigned to the Detective Division.

In 2016 he was promoted to Sgt. and on Oct. 1 he was promoted to Lt. and is still assigned to the investigative unit. He loves it. Wright became a forensics technician in 2013 after taking a nine week course.

“What do I like best? It has to be working the forensic side of the detective division,” he said. “I am a trained forensics interviewer,” he said, noting that he deals with child abuse and sexual assault victims.

He also serves on the Emporia-Greensville Multi Disciplinary Team through the local Child Advocacy Center.

As a Lt., Wright will have more administrative duties such as scheduling issues but once the police department is at full manpower he expects to have more than one detective working under him. The police dept. has several officers currently attending the Police Academy.

Once he has other detectives in the division he will serve as a supervisor to the newly appointed officers to the investigative unit. He also serves as the evidence custodian for the police department.

“I really love my job,” said Wright. “It is extremely satisfying to help people in our community. There is always something new and challenging every day. Even with 24 years of law enforcement experience I never know what you are going to do when you leave home in the morning….or when that call comes at 2 a.m. and wakes you up.”

He has a scheduled work week Monday through Friday but he is on call 24 hours a day seven days a week and is called out a lot especially for crimes such as shootings.

Wright also talked about what a big hurdle it is in today’s society as a police department to get the public to trust the officers and to get people in the community to work with officers to solve crimes. “The community really has to trust the Police Department and work with us because we are not miracle workers. We rely on the community to be our eyes and ears and give us information so that we can have successful outcomes on crimes.

“People also need to be willing to serve their community by serving on the jury. People have to get involved in their community to help keep crime down. If we can get people to get involved and to trust our police officers then we can do a lot better job.

“The Emporia Police Dept. is here for our community. We are trying to better ourselves. We are in the stage of becoming a nationally accredited department so that we can do our jobs better and serve our citizens. We want to be a police department that the community will be proud of but we need help from the community, too.”

Wright, and his wife, Sarah, have three children, Berkley, Hannah and Cole. Sarah already knew what to expect when she married a police officer. Her father, is a retired Chief of Police for the Franklin Police Dept.

“My wife grew up in a law enforcement family so she knows what it’s like to be part of a family where the husband and father is called out any time day or night. She understands that when I leave I never know what time I will be back. My kids, too. Without my family’s support it would make my job so much harder. I’m thankful for them. They help me be the person and law enforcement officer I want to be.”

Lt. Wright is the son of Johnny and Nita Wright and was born and raised in Emporia-Greensville.

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