Better late than never

Published 8:35 am Thursday, June 27, 2013

AHOSKIE – Good things happen to those who wait.

In the case of Joseph Thomas (“Joe”) Twine, the wait was worth the effort.

Twine, who spent over 40 years in law enforcement, was recently awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, among the most prestigious awards presented by the Governor of North Carolina. The only downside to this story of loyal service to his home county of Hertford, Twine waited three years to personally claim that award.

“I was never in the business of law enforcement for the praise; only to uphold my oath to serve and protect the people of Hertford County,” said Twine.

Upon his retirement in 2010 as Chief of Campus Security at Roanoke-Chowan Community College, Twine was made aware that then North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue had approved the bestowment of this high honor.

The original plan was to award the “Order” to Twine at R-CCC’s graduation ceremony in May of 2010. On that day, Twine was indeed called forward and given other mementos of appreciation and service to the college. However, the arrival of the Long Leaf Pine certificate was delayed and Twine was told it would be bestowed at a later date.

“I guess you could say that life got in the way, as it so often does, and I really never thought about it again,” Twine said.

Unbeknownst to Twine, the award did arrive on the R-CCC campus and was stored for safe-keeping. But as we all know, so often we hide things from ourselves and the award was just recently discovered tucked away in a file. Now it’s in the hands of Twine….late, but safely in his possession.

“It makes you proud to know that others respect the job you do,” Twine said. “I may be retired, but I’m always a law enforcement officer.”

Twine is no stranger to gubernatorial accolades for his service and dedication. When serving in 1977 as a Sergeant with the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office, Twine was recognized by Gov. Jim Hunt for his election to the Executive Board of the Juvenile Justice Association of North Carolina.

Twine has been a towering figure in local law enforcement since 1968, giving years of dedicated service to the citizens of Hertford County as a Sheriff’s Deputy as well as through numerous civic and charitable associations. He was eventually promoted to the rank of Lieutenant with the Sheriff’s Office, retiring at that rank in 1994. However, sitting at home wasn’t Twine’s style as he accepted a job as a Special Deputy assigned to Hertford County Public Schools as a Resource Officer.

He retired again after years of stellar service to the school system, but didn’t have to look very far to gain employment as he accepted a job as R-CCC’s Chief of Security. There, Twine was known as a fair, compassionate and no-nonsense type of officer. Under his leadership, the college’s on-campus security force became one to emulate and envy across the North Carolina Community College System.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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