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New River Criminal Justice Academy renames gym in honor of fallen Pulaski County deputy

Hodge was killed in a head-on collision in January

The New River Criminal Justice Academy paid tribute to one of its instructors who passed away in a head on collision earlier this year.
The New River Criminal Justice Academy paid tribute to one of its instructors who passed away in a head on collision earlier this year.

DUBLIN, Va – Sgt. Perry Hodge put his life on the line every day for more than 15 years during his time with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s office.

When he wasn’t protecting and serving his community, he was training recruits at the New River Criminal Justice Academy in his free time.

“Sgt. Perry Hodge, he was an integral part of this academy. He spent several hours in this very room sweating, motivating and training new recruits,” Director New River Criminal Justice Academy Randy Ferrell said.

Hodge was killed in a head-on collision in Pulaski County in January.

During his free time from serving as a School Resource Officer, he was coming up with new ways to train upcoming police officers across the New River Valley.

“He mentioned several times at the office how excited he was to come and teach our class while we were here, and while we might not know exactly how big the void is we missed out on experiencing him teach, we know it is there,” New River Valley Criminal Justice Academy Recruit Kimberly Hodge said.

Thursday the academy hosted a dedication ceremony to rename the gym in his honor. Police from departments across the state came to honor Hodge’s life.

“Perry was always there to motivate you and support you, and we miss him,” Dublin Police Chief Dennis Lambert said.

The academy also wanted to host the dedication ceremony to honor Hodge’s family members and thank them for his years of service to his community.

“He was one of those people who left an impact on you, no matter how brief your encounters with him were one of those people who strive to be like, not only at work but in life,” Kimberly Hodge said.

The plaque will remain at the top of the doors of the gym where Hodge trained hundreds of police officers hoping to serve their community the same way he did.


About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.