NEWBERRY — Although he did not find a job in wildlife management, Kirby Richardson thinks he has found his place at the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office as a Corrections Officer.
A Newberry County native, Richardson has always lived in Prosperity. After attending high school at Mid-Carolina, he went on to Newberry College. Richardson majored in biology, graduating with his degree in 2010.
“I always thought I wanted to do wildlife management,” Richardson said.
The job he ideally would have liked was that of a park ranger at Sumter National Forest or a biologist working in a national forest studying animals, plants and migration trends.
Richardson said he worked a little while longer at the job he had while in school before starting with the Sheriff’s Office in April 2012.
“I always liked law enforcement, so I thought I would give it a try,” Richardson said.
Richardson’s current rank is that of sergeant, which he said means rather than being a floor officer for the jail division, he’s a shift supervisor. Currently he supervises the night shift from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. when he works.
His overall job is to make sure nightly operations run smoothly.
“If a shift has questions, I have to try to answer for them, or if inmates have questions that their floor officer doesn’t know, I try to get those answered for them,” Richardson said.
When a decision needs to be made, Richardson is the one that makes the call.
As for his job, Richardson there isn’t a part of it that he doesn’t enjoy.
“I like all of it,” he said. “I like the environment and the people I work with.”
As another aspect of his job, Richardson is also a member of the Newberry County Bloodhound/Tracking Unit. In this area of responsibility, Richardson aids the county anytime there is a request for the bloodhounds. He has been trained and certified as a tracker for over a year.
To become certified, Richardson said he had to talk with the administrator for the unit. He had to start off by watching others, working his way into training.
“After a while you get to handle the dogs and after a certain amount of time when they think you’re ready you get certified and can go out on live calls,” Richardson said.
Overall, Richardson said he enjoys working night shift more than working during the day and that most of those he spends his time with also have similar schedules so he does not feel like he’s missing out on many things.
“I sleep a lot better during day for some reason,” Richardson said. “I like the schedule.”
When he’s not working, Richardson said he enjoys fishing and hunting. Richardson is a member at St. Paul Lutheran Church with his family.
Richardson’s parents are Mark and Martha Richardson, and he has two siblings — Scott and Holly.
Corrections Officer of the Year
In June, Richardson was rewarded for his work with the Sheriff’s Office and was named the 2014 Charles Harshman Corrections Officer of the Year.
The award is named in honor of Sgt. Charles Harshman, a former NCSO employee who served the agency with distinction. The Charles Harshman Corrections Officer of the Year is awarded to an employee who has shown dedication, loyalty and leadership above and beyond the call of duty.
The individual receiving the award must epitomize the image of a dedicated Corrections Officer and must also maintain the standards of the office, which they felt Richardson possessed.
Richardson said he was surprised and had not expected to receive the award, but was happy and honored to have been chosen.
“Kirby is an employee with a great attitude, does a great job, and is a valuable asset to the organization,” said Sheriff Lee Foster.