Christopher Ray Scholarship Foundation donates K-9 to SoCo Sheriff’s Office

Published 8:56 am Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Southampton County Sheriff’s Office recently received a new K-9 officer courtesy of the Christopher D. Ray Memorial Scholarship Foundation. The officer, a German Shepherd-Belgian Malinois cross named Kevar, recently completed his training and as of April, is now actively working on the force.

According to John Barksdale, a spokesman for the Foundation, Kevar is a cross-trained officer, which means not only can he detect narcotics, he can also track people. In addition to tracking and apprehending criminals, Kevar can track and locate missing children, Alzheimer’s patients and others via articles of clothing or possessions they may have left behind or lost.

“He can really do it all,” Barksdale said. “We are very proud of and excited by this opportunity, and look forward to continuing to foster these efforts in the future.”

In addition to providing Kevar, the Foundation is also currently reviewing applications for this year’s scholarship and plans to announce a recipient in early summer. The scholarship has been awarded annually since 2011 to a high school senior or current college student working toward a public safety degree.The Foundation also plans to host the eighth annual Christopher Ray Memorial Scholarship Fishing Tournament on June 17.

Ray was a deputy sheriff in Southampton County who lost his life in the line of duty on Aug. 29, 2009 only a few months after completing his undergraduate degree in criminal justice at Radford University.

“There were few things that he [Ray] loved more than fishing on the Nottoway River,” Barksdale said. “It was our vision to honor Christopher by hosting a fishing tournament in early summer every year along the stretch of river he loved so dearly in Courtland.”

For more information on the Christopher Ray Memorial Scholarship, contact Barksdale at 653-8341 or Daniel Vinson at 653-9322. To donate to the foundation, make checks payable to John Barksdale (CDRMS Foundation), P.O. Box 382, Courtland, VA 23837.