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Longtime Salem Police Chief Receives Roanoke College Charles Brown Award

Roanoke College President Mike Maxey, Lois Ann Bryant, and winner Chief James Bryant at yesterday’s reception.

Roanoke College has recognized former City of Salem Police Chief James R. Bryant for his years of service to the Salem community.

The award is given each year to a Salem resident who has contributed significantly, both professionally and civically, to the city’s quality of life. It is named for Dr. Charles Brown, the College’s first dean and a former mayor of Salem.

Chief James R. Bryant served the Salem Police Department for 43 years. He served in a number of roles across divisions and was appointed Chief of Police in 1995, a position he held for 14 years until his retirement in 2009.

Prior to joining the Salem Police Department, Chief Bryant was enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. In 1976 he enrolled in the reserves and was called into duty in 1990, serving in Operation Desert Shield – Desert Storm. He was ranked Sergeant Major at the time of his retirement from the corps in 1995.

During his tenure with the Salem Police Department, Bryant was responsible for the implementation of community programs such as Camp D.A.R.E for Salem middle schoolers. He was also instrumental in the creation of the Salem ambassadors program that allows Roanoke College students to plan service projects in nearby neighborhoods and to represent the College at Salem Neighborhood Relations Task Force meetings.

“There is no doubt Chief Bryant subscribes to the ideal of ‘developing the whole person’ because he has lived it for the whole of his life and continues to do so,” says a former colleague in his nominating letter. “He has coached, mentored, and advised countless people both professionally and personally to help them become successful individuals who serve others with a happy heart.  I know because I am one of them.”

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