Chief Randy Lawson.jpg

Chatham's new police chief, Randy Lawson. 

At Monday's meeting of the Chatham Town Council, council members unanimously adopted a recomendation from the personnel committee chair Andrew Wall to promote acting police chief Lt. Randy Lawson to full-time police chief. 

In September, 12-year police chief Marvin Wright retired from the force after being with the Chatham Police Department for over 30 years. 

"I'm just glad for the opportunity," Lawson said. 

Officer Nathan Roach was also promoted to Lieutenant. 

"Congrats, it's well deserved," said Mayor Will Pace. 

Discussions about salary increases to accompany the promotions have not yet been had, vice mayor Bob Thompson said. 

In other matters, the town approved an agreement with the county to receive $250,920 more from the Coronavirus Relief Fund sourced from federal CARES Act money. 

The town had previously received CRF money for projects including the purchase of new on-board police car computers for the town's police vehicles, laptop computers and wireless hotspots for town staff and updates to the town hall building for safety. 

The agreement with the county stipulates that the town repay any of the granted money used for purposes that don't align with the CARES Act requirements. 

According to the agreement, the money will be used to cover necessary expenditures incurred because of COVID-19 between March 1 and Dec. 30. 

Additionally, the town received approval of a grant application with the Virginia Department of Forestry for the removal and replacement of several dead ash trees within Chatham Burial Park. 

The Virginia Department of Forestry approved $5,375 for the tree removal and $1,200 for the tree replacement. 

According to council member William Black, the trees are a safety risk and must be removed from the cemetery. 

During his report, Pace also announced that on Thursday at 4 p.m. there will be a dedication ceremony to name a bridge in Chatham after former mayor Roy P. Byrd, Jr. at the town hall building.

The Virginia General Assembly voted in session earlier this year to dedicate the northernmost bridge connecting Chatham to Highway 29 after the long time member of the Commonwealth Transportation Board to whom Pace credits many of the roadway fixtures connecting to Chatham. 

"Many of the transportation projects that are in the Chatham area are due in large part to Roy Byrd, including the bridge that's being named after him," Pace said. 

The dedication ceremony on Thursday will reportedly be attended by Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine.

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