Their names aren’t in the history books but their deeds are making a difference in lives every day in the Kanawha Valley.
February is Black History Month and to celebrate the Charleston Police Department honored four members of the community Wednesday at Charleston City Hall who go above and beyond to assist others.
This year’s honorees are Coston Davis, Jr., Tom Tolliver, Sr., Ronald Layton and Paul Sheridan.
This is the fourth year the department is recognizing members of the community. Event organizer Cpl. Errol Randle say the honorees have a lot in common.
“They sacrifice. They give of their time. They don’t sit back and complain. They try to figure out how to make things better,” explains Randle.
Randle says all four men have spent their adult lives and their working careers helping others.
“Our honorees have a piece of the puzzle. They’ve taken it to heart and they serve as an example for the rest of us.”
Tolliver, is a long time community advocate and church leader. Coston, who works at West Virginia State University, is an education proponent. Special Agent Ronald Layton works with at-risk children and youth. Sheridan is a civil rights advocate.
Randle says it’s not always easy to choose the honorees because there are so many people in the community who help out. But the four men recommended this year were true stand outs and men he looks up to and have helped him in his capacity as a police officer.
“They have really inspired me to get out there and want to do more because of the work that they’ve done. They’ve given their time. They’ve sacrificed and they’ve given of themselves, their heart and their passion.”
Randle says all of the men are incredibly humble but it’s critical to point out the important services they provide to the community.
“They’re not scared to make mistakes. If they make mistakes, then they remedy that and they learn from it. They get out there in the community and outside of their comfort zone to try and make change.”