By Brandon Martin
Representatives of the Tabernacle Church in Danville presented a $10,000 to the Piedmont Regional Criminal Justice Training Academy Board of Directors on Thursday.
Pastor Joey Bray said the check was in appreciation of the contributions of local law enforcement.
“We have a good group of giving people and we were trying to determine the best way. We knew we wanted to do something for law enforcement,” Bray said. “We had six projects designated this year as our annual Christmas offering. I’ve always been a strong proponent of law enforcement.”
Bray said John Motley, a Danville police officer, gave him the idea to donate to the academy.
“I’m hoping this gift on behalf of the Tabernacle Church will inspire others to do the same,” Bray said. “What better way to reach out to the entire community than through law enforcement and proper, well–rounded training.”
J. R. Powell, chairman, said the funds will be used to help build an onsite facility for training in defensive tactics.
“To date, the academy has always had to beg and borrow other facilities within Martinsville, Henry County, Danville or wherever,” Powell said. “Thankfully, over the years we’ve been able to work things out, but some of those facilities are no longer available to us.”
Powell said the building committee discussed a new location on Jan. 13, after learning about the donation.
“I think that was a sign from higher up that we are on the right path, and there are some options out there to get that facility done,” he said. “I’m 99 percent sure that’s what those funds will go to.”
The academy serves 13 criminal justice agencies and approximately 750 personnel, including police officers, sheriff’s deputies and dispatchers for the Martinsville Police Department, Martinsville Sheriff’s Office, Gretna Police Department, Chatham Police Department, Pittsylvania County Emergency Services, Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office, Danville Police Department, Danville Sheriff’s Office, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Danville Emergency Communications, Patrick County Sheriff’s Office and Martinsville Henry County 911 Center.
The board is composed of police chiefs, sheriffs, and emergency services directors from the localities served by the academy.