Day and night our public safety heroes answer the call, working tirelessly to prevent crime and save lives. When they’re not doing that, they’re working with at-risk local youth or neighborhood councils. For them it’s all part of the job. In early March, before the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order went into effect, the Kiwanis Club of Richmond in partnership with Chevron Richmond honored some of the people who are keeping the city safe at its annual Public Safety Awards Dinner. Amid the COVID-19 public health crisis, the Standard will highlight each of the honorees as a reminder of the sacrifices made by frontline responders.
Brandon Hodges, Police Office of the Year
If LeBron James, winner of three NBA titles, is considered the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time) in basketball, then Brandon Hodges may be in the running for the same distinction in policing.
For a third year in a row, Officer Hodges has been named Police Officer of the Year by his peers. Like LeBron James, the officer has plenty of numbers to back him up.
Last year, Officer Hodges recovered 23 firearms, made 75 arrests and handled multiple important cases that made the community safer. With help from his canine partner Gunnar, Hodges also apprehended more than 40 suspects. Thirty-two of them surrendered just knowing that the dog was present. In 2018, Hodges was recognized for recovering 30 firearms and making 61 arrests.
That’s not all. Officer Hodges has also made the city safer by addressing many quality of life issues in his beat, providing homeless outreach services and tackling some of the blight issues in neighborhoods. He arranged for the towing of over 100 abandoned vehicles in 2019.
Despite these achievements, Officer Hodges remains humble. In accepting his trifecta award, “he made it a point to recognize his wife, who stays home and takes care of their two little ones,” said recently retired Richmond police Capt. Joey Schlemmer, who remains active in the community.
“It can be tough at times balancing a career and family life, and they seem to be doing it pretty well,” Schlemmer said.