Investigator surprised with award: LCSO employee honored for acts of kindness

Published 11:05 am Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A quick search of your name on the Internet may be fun, but there are rarely any surprises. But when one Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office investigator entered his name into Google during a class in investigator school he learned he had been chosen for a civic award.

Byron Catchings was shocked to receive a Civic Recognition Award after being nominated by someone who knew about his acts of compassion and kindness.

Catchings has always strived to help people, both children and adults, to overcome adversity to be their best selves.

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“I would want someone to help me if I was in that position,” he said.

Catchings works toward his goals through his career at the Sheriff’s Office as well as his involvement as a freemason and a member of the Lincoln County ministerial alliance.

“Law enforcement are sometimes seen as cold-hearted,” he said. “But we do care. Every law enforcement officer is striving to more or less help the community. We put our lives on the line every day.”
Catchings said part of the difficulty can be the uncertainty of the job.

“We don’t know where each day is going to go,” he said.

Catchings said that officers live a three-second life. Most decisions are made in that three-second time frame. Their job is to make sure they’re equipped to make the best decisions in short amounts of time. But sometimes their actions are not received well.

“We are people too. We have feelings; we have family,” he said. “Our job is to protect and serve. I feel we do our best at it.”

One of Catchings’ favorite parts of working in the Sheriff’s Office is leading the D.A.R.E. program in Lincoln County.

“You make a real difference in a child’s life,” he said. “They see the police as a friend now. That connection as a friend is a life-long thing.”

Catchings said the program has evolved over the years. Although they do raise awareness about drugs, they have expanded the program to teach about responsibility and consequences.

“As people we’ve really go to figure out what we are doing to make better decisions,” he said.

Although Catchings is hoping to curtail some mistakes for these children, he said learning from the past is a valuable tool.

“Everything happens for a reason,” he said. “If you change your past, you wouldn’t know better.”

As for helping the community become a better place, Catchings said everyone needs to come together to help. He quoted Hebrews 13:2, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

“You never know who you come across during the day,” he said. “Remember to smile and speak. Say good morning. You never know how much that can brighten their day.”

Catchings said these small acts can help improve the county’s welfare. That and praying for the community.

“No matter what it looks like or what you think it looks like its still a blessing,” he said.