Deputy Richmond

Chief Deputy Joe Parks of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department presents a folded American flag to retiring Deputy Perry Richmond during Friday’s flag ceremony outside of the Mercer County Courthouse Annex.

PRINCETON -— A flag ceremony symbolized the conclusion Friday of a long career with county law enforcement and the beginning of new possibilities – including elected office – for a Mercer County deputy.

The Mercer County Sheriff’s Department conducted a flag ceremony to honor Deputy Perry Richmond, who formally retired after 22-years of service. A new American flag was flown all day in front of the Mercer County Courthouse Annex before deputies took it down, carefully folded it and presented it to Richmond.

Chief Deputy Joe Parks said Richmond started his career with the sheriff’s department on night-shift road patrol before moving on to bailiff later in his career. Richmond was a familiar figure at the Mercer County Magistrate Court. When the courthouse annex was built, he helped design the facility’s security systems.

“He is a daily presence at the annex,” Parks said.

After the ceremony, Richmond said he started his law enforcement career in corrections before serving for three years with the West Virginia State Police.

“I actually got into corrections because it took me a while to get a job with law enforcement,” Richmond recalled. “It’s a lot more difficult. A lot of people have some idea that it’s kind of like the military; you just sign up, take a test and they hire you. It’s a very competitive process. When I was hired by the State Police back in those days there were well over 2,000 applicants. It’s not given out. You really have to compete.”

Sheriff Tommy Bailey said Richmond would be returning to the courthouse annex as a civilian bailiff for the family court. Richmond said he also hopes to return to the annex some day in another capacity.

“I hope to run for one of the magistrate positions next election,” Richmond said. “That’s still forthcoming. Well, I definitely know how the magistrates have to do their jobs and I certainly know how to do it.”

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