Sheriff’s office honored for support of troops

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pike County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Price plays a big role in law enforcement. But, Sheriff Russell Thomas said that’s minimal compared to his other work — protecting freedom.

In January, Alabama National Guard Soldier Price will be deployed to Iraq for his second term.

And, for its support, the sheriff’s department was presented with a certificate of recognition. Col. Glen Dunlap, with the Alabama Committee of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, presented Thomas with a certificate to hang on the office wall during Price’s departure.

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“While (their jobs) are protected legally when they’re gone, it’s good to recognize the employers,” Dunlap said.

Dunlap said even with the department’s support, it still is hard on employers when their employees are gone.

“The sheriff doesn’t have the opportunity to call Jeremy on the phone. Someone’s got to replace him,” Dunlap said. “It’s a small token on behalf of those called to active duty and get support from their boss.”

While Thomas admits it will be more challenging to operate services without one employee, he knows the price is one worth paying.

“It’s important the work Jeremy does here. He’s very capable and highly qualified,” Thomas said. “It’s even more important what he’s going to be doing in Iraq for the safety and security of the country.”

Price was deployed once before during his time at the Pike County Sheriff’s Department, where he stayed gone for 14 months.

He is unsure how long he’ll be gone this time.

“I’m glad to see the Department of Defense recognize employers,” Price said. “I know everyone contributes something in some aspect.”

Thomas said the department will continue to support Price while he is overseas and wait for his return.

“It’s a long time to be without a deputy. We suffered through it the last time he was gone,” Thomas said. “Our prayers will go out to Jeremy and this family. It’s something that has to be done.”