PRINCETON — Tuesday night’s Princeton City Council meeting at the Princeton Municipal Building started with the Princeton Police Department recognizing their “Officer of the Year” and ended with a tribute to Veteran’s Day by Princeton City Councilman and U.S. Air Force veteran Marshall Lytton.

Police Chief Tim Gray called up Det. Sean Sievert for the presentation.

“What we’re doing tonight is something (former Police) Chief (J.W.) Howell started several years ago by recognizing the ‘Officer of the Year’. This officer and his supervisor do the cases that no body else wants to work. They do a lot of child crime cases which are difficult to do. I’ve done so myself and it’s no fun. I’ve watched this young man grow from a young teenager to a outstanding young man who does a good job,” Gray said.

Among the professional honors Sievert has received is being invited to join the U.S. Marshal’s Service Task Force.

“He works all the overtime that he can and he does a tremendous job,” Gray said.

In other police-related news, former Councilman Bill Seaver was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Police Civil Service Commission by Mayor David Graham.

The other emergency service department also had a moment in the spotlight as the American Red Cross recognized the Princeton Fire Department for their role in the “Sound The Alarm” program this past spring.

Courtney Clark, former Executive Director for the American Red Cross Southeast West Virginia Chapter, said, “We’re here tonight to celebrate the success of that program and on behalf of the American Red Cross, we’d like to recognize the Princeton Fire Department for their leadership in this program..”

Fire Chief Chad Bailey, she said, coordinated with seven county volunteer fire departments and the Bluefield Fire Department to make the program county-wide, while Lt. Charlie Croy coordinated the addresses for hundreds of smoke alarm requests and facilitated the involvement of fellow first responders.

“Through these extraordinary efforts, we saw 382 smoke alarms installed in 145 houses in Mercer County,” she said.

Clark and Amanda Akers, representing the Southeast Chapter, presented Bailey and Croy with a certificate and challenge coins.

Bailey, in turn, praised Akers for her availability when the situation called for it, such as the recent incident at the Princeton Towers when an intruder set of the sprinkler system and forced several residents into motel rooms temporarily.

At the end of the meeting, Lytton gave a presentation to the audience on Veteran’s Day, starting with its origins as a commemoration of the day the armistice ending World War I was signed and going through the process which made the day for honoring living veterans and active service personnel. The presentation also included the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery and the drill used by the guards.

The tribute ended with a wreath presentation by Lytton featuring the hymns used by the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.

Contact Jeff Harvey at

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