The Optimist Club of Arlington saluted the efforts of local law-enforcement and court-services officers during a Sept. 18 luncheon at Washington Golf & Country Club, with a focus on efforts made in the public-safety arena to improve the lives of youth.
“We believe it is important for children to grow up with a strong belief in abiding by the law, respecting law enforcement and doing what they can to maintain peace,” the club noted at the Respect for Law luncheon, which is approaching its 40th anniversary.
Among the recipients:
• Capt. James “Jay” Ternent, a 35-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, was nominated by Sheriff Beth Arthur, who attended the luncheon and gave the closing remarks. Also in attendance was his supervisor, Maj. Jimmie Barrett.
Ternent was lauded for his exceptional leadership throughout the year, including his service during a 1991 fire at the Arlington County Detention Facility, where he worked to ensure the safety of inmates and staff.
“He has a wealth of institutional knowledge on corrections law and is quick to voluntarily assist others – he is a true role model for everyone around him,” the Optimist Club noted.
• Detective Jacqueline “Jackie” Pagan was nominated by Police Chief Jay Farr, who was in attendance to honor her. Also there to witness Pagan’s award presentation were her guests – Jenny Sexton and Patrice English – and her supervisor, Lt. Eliseo Pilco.
Pagan has served with the police department since 1991, and transferred to the School Resource Officer Unit in 2009. One of her roles has been operating the AAA Safety Patrol Camps, where police each summer work with students who will be school safety patrols in the ensuing year.
Detective Pagan, who will be retiring in January, “should be commended for all her efforts with the safety-patrol program and summer camps. Because of her tireless efforts and dedication, safety-patrol campers received a first-class experience,” the Optimist Club noted.
• Supervisor Caitlin Tracy was awarded the Court Services Award, having been nominated by Earl Conklin, the county’s director of court services. Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Judge George Varoutsos was on hand and made remarks, and Tracy was accompanied by her sister, Deirdre, and her brother, Connor.
Tracy began in the office as a court clerk and has advanced to becoming an intake supervisor. Throughout her tenure, she “has demonstrated the highest level of leadership and service as she helped law enforcement and victims of crime bring their cases to court,” the Optimist Club noted.
“In the newest chapter of her work as probation supervisor, Caitlin will surely continue to be a model employee and agent of change in Arlington’s evolving juvenile-justice system,” the club noted.
The “Respect for Law” initiative was established in 1981 by Optimist Club member James Almand (a member of the General Assembly and later a Circuit Court judge) and this year – under the mentorship of Almand – was reinvigorated by Optimist board member Shandra Niswander.
For information on the Optimist Club of Arlington, see the Website at www.optimistclubofarlingtonva.org.