BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) – Sheriff Brian Hieatt, a Tazewell County native, is this weeks Hometown Hero.
“Brian goes above and beyond for the community to make sure it is a safe and enjoyable community not only for the young generation also for the elderly as well,” said nominator, Debbie Baker
Hieatt says the nomination made his day.
“I was excited that somebody would take the time and look at all the things that we do as a Sheriff’s Office and think about the things that I have done and I’m just really excited and very humbled to be nominated for hometown hero. ”
WVVA caught up with the sheriff in his office, but he gets out and about in the 540 square mile jurisdiction that is Tazewell County. Hieatt says every encounter in the community is an opportunity to make a positive difference in someone’s life.
“You never know what impact you’re going to make on somebody’s life, whether they’re a child or adult, you don’t know what type of impact you’re going to make.”
“One time I got an email from a man who, who sent me an email and said when he was a child he was part of a special program that we did with at-risk youth and police where we went on a on a camp thing together and he wrote me a long email. He’s now married, he has children, and working a good job, and he said he’s had some up and downs in his life but he would always think back to that time and that program that we did and the impact he said that I made on him and how it influenced him and his life. So to get a letter like that from, from someone who has gone on to do good things just made a really big impact on me and reinforce that what we do out here, working with our youth and the public is a good thing.”
That good thing extends to every demograph in Tazewell County, from a trunk or treat event, to litter control, to passing out presents during the holidays, to offering training for houses of worship when it comes to congregation safety during the times we live in.
“We go out to different churches, work with them on how they can be better secure and make their churches safe. We started years ago doing a concealed weapons class because we saw so many people in our area wanted to carry concealed weapons, and if you get online and different things where you have to pay for it, but I said we got differents instructors here, people who can do the class, let’s do something for our citizens. So, we started doing free concealed weapons class, coming out and volunteering our time on weekends, and we’ve had thousands of people that have come and gone through our concealed weapons classes.”
Away from law enforcement, Sheriff Hieatt shares an interesting tidbit about his life off-duty.
“People may be surprised if they don’t know me that well, that I am a science-fiction fan. I don’t go on fishing trips and things, I do go to science-fiction conventions though.”
The reality for this veteran lawman, is his approach to law enforcement is rooted in community policing.
“It’s all about working close with the community and being accessible to them and making sure that they feel that they can come up and approach me with anything, any problem any concern that they have.”
That’s what makes Sheriff Brian Hieatt a hometown hero.
You can nominate a Hometown Hero by sending us an email to [email protected] The winner and nominator both receive a year of free frostycinnos from Wendy’s.
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