Amherst County’s Director of Public Safety announces retirement, reflects on decades of service

Sam Bryant’s last day will be Sept. 1

Bryant says he's stepping away from his position to focus on family and other hobbies.

AMHERST COUNTY, Va. – Sam Bryant recently announced he’s retiring as Amherst County’s Director of Public Safety.

“It’s emotional. There are a lot of different thoughts, but I know it’s time,” said Bryant.

The Northern Virginia native started as a teenager in 1983, when he signed up to be an Amherst volunteer EMT.

Bryant later served two decades in the U.S. military, with both the Army and National Guard.

He also spent two decades with the Lynchburg Fire Department, worked as a security specialist and hazmat officer for the FBI and rushed to the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

Bryant accepted the role of public safety director in 2018 because he loves serving the community.

“The noblest thing you can do is to help a person, whether it’s just a flat tire or a little bit of gas or they’re having a medical emergency; but to give that part of your day and your time to help another human being just means a lot to me,” Bryant said.

The 55-year-old said he’s stepping away to focus on his family and other hobbies.

What will he miss most?

“The people [I work with], because they’re the ones that make a difference and help people that call for our help,” said Bryant.

And those people, like Deputy Director Jarred Scott, say they’ll miss Bryant.

“It’s kind of just a mixed bag of emotions,” said Scott, who will fill in as interim director when Bryant retires on Sept. 1.

He said he’ll remember what his mentor taught him.

“You pick up things here and there and nuggets and knowledge, and I mean just some of the ways he does things and how he’s handled situations,” Scott said.

Before Bryant hits the road, he has one more nugget of knowledge on how to handle a career of service.

“You just have to be fluid and you have to look for the good,” said Bryant.

About the Author:

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.