- Last Updated on 08:37 AM 01/09/13
- BY Paula I. Bryant
Great teamwork between E-911 dispatchers, Halifax County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police, South Boston Police and Halifax Police resulted in quick arrests of three suspects Saturday morning following a scary home invasion in the Nathalie community.
Too often the public is quick to criticize law enforcement officers when arrests aren’t made immediately following a criminal act, but this time words of praise are in order for all involved.
Much can be said for having well-trained officers ready and willing to put their lives on the line to protect county citizens and work for justice to be carried out.
Like Sheriff Fred Clark said, we too thank God that no one was hurt or killed as this unthinkable crime took place and as the pursuit ensued for the suspects involved.
Job well done.
What started out as a good day for law enforcement in Halifax County Saturday, ended on a tragically sad note with the untimely and unexpected death of veteran law enforcement officer Lt. Steve Cassada of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office later that evening.
When my phone rang shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday with the news of my friend’s passing, it was like I was in shock. It was surreal. It couldn’t be true.
I had just talked to him Friday, and even though he wasn’t feeling his best after a week of battling what he called “the crud,” he still was trying to be his dry, witty self.
Not knowing it would be my final conversation with him, the last words I spoke to Steve Friday were to tell him to get some rest, and I hoped he would soon be “back to normal” which, of course, prompted him to crack one of his jokes … something about never being normal.
We certainly are going to miss him at the newspaper because no matter what time of day or night, if something was going on that we needed to find out about, you could call Steve. He always answered his cell phone, and if by chance a call did go to voice mail, you could count on him to return the call immediately. If he hadn’t heard about whatever was going on, you can bet he would find out and get the information back to you. We appreciated his promptness and willingness to help us keep the public informed.
As former Sheriff Jeff Oakes put it, Steve, who gave 34 years of dedicated service to the sheriff’s department under six different sheriffs, was the office’s “ambassador of goodwill.”
“He greeted everyone with a warm handshake and a smile or a heart-felt hug. Steve did not know a stranger and lived his life as a servant to his fellow man and Halifax County.”
He indeed was an officer and a gentleman, and his death is the community’s loss.
To his wife, children and grandchildren, we extend our heartfelt sympathy.
We lost another friend and former traveling companion this weekend when Pat Crews of Nathalie passed away at Halifax Regional Hospital.
Forever will I treasure fond memories of going to Hawaii with Pat and her husband, Ken, for a week’s getaway one month before my wedding date back in the fall of 1988.
And the many summer trips we took together to Cherry Grove in North Myrtle Beach will not soon be forgotten either.
Our sympathy goes out to Kenneth and daughter, Connie, and grandchildren.
And on Friday we learned that in six months we will say goodbye to Halifax County Service Authority Executive Director Willie Jones who announced his retirement effective the end of June.
In making his intentions known, Willie said, “It has been for me a special privilege and unique opportunity to be entrusted as a steward of this community’s resources. I have enjoyed an incredible degree of support from the HCSA Board of Directors, employees and community leaders as we have worked together to enable the authority to fulfill the purposes for which it was created.
“To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose, and for me it is now time to move on. I leave with a deep sense of gratitude for all we have accomplished together.”
He summed life up well… “to everything there is a season.”
We’re thankful for each of these above-mentioned people who have made a mark on our life during “their season.”