Halifax Police Chief Stuart Comer introduced the newest member of the Halifax Police Department, Heath Eckstein, to Halifax Town Council when it met Tuesday evening.

Eckstein brings over 20 years of police experience and service to the town of Halifax with his last position being a patrolman with the Carilion Police Department in Roanoke.

He worked as a patrolman for the Carilion Hospital where his duties included patrol of the Carilion properties, monitored pharmacy runs and supervised money deposits.

“The Halifax Police Department welcomes officer Eckstein to the force and wishes him much success,” said Comer.

Prior to working for Carilion Police Department, Eckstein worked in patrol and was a member of the street crimes unit with Lynchburg Police Department.

From 1997 to 2005, Eckstein worked for the Norfolk Police Department in many different aspects of police work including but not limited to special operations, narcotics and the tactical unit.

In 2005, he relocated and became a member of the Salem Police Department.

He graduated basic law enforcement training in 1997 from the Norfolk Police Department.

In addition to introducing Eckstein, Comer also introduced to council the idea of having auxiliary police officers.

He said it allows those 18 and older to volunteer their time for training and serving the community and would be available to help with special events such as Halloween.

The Halifax Police Department also has an Explorer’s Team for teenagers ages 14 to 16 interested in law enforcement, and Comer said this is one step from that.

The Halifax police chief also presented the August police report to council saying there were one felony arrest, 20 misdemeanor arrests, two protective orders served, 518 calls for service, 59 traffic summons, one minor traffic accident and 37 warnings issued during the month.

Council also took the following actions:

• Set a joint meeting and public hearing for Sept. 25 with the Halifax Planning Commission for a special use permit application for James Edmunds to construct a studio apartment to the rear of the retail space at 60 South Main Street;

• Signed a resolution proclaiming Sept. 17 – 23 as Constitution Week and the 232nd anniversary of the drafting of the U.S. Constitution;

• Unanimously agreed to pledge $1,000 to the Walkway of Honor, a brick footpath through the Virginia War Memorial;

• Reviewed a draft resolution recognizing the Banister River Garden Club’s 65th anniversary;

• Heard from members of the business development, finance and current affairs committees during their work session; and

• Heard from Carol Gravitt, vice president of the board of directors for the Community Arts Center Foundation, who thanked council for supporting The Prizery.

The town received a Creative Communities Partnership Grant from the Virginia Commission of the Arts, which matched a $4,500 payment from the town.

She also said they were looking into additional grants to do more advertising through billboards, banners and entertainment magazines, and she hopes the town will continue to support the arts.

The foundation has been advertising The Prizery’s shows through those mediums, and she said it has been successful with visitors coming not only from Halifax County but also from Pittsylvania County, Clarksville and Person County, North Carolina.

Council members Mike Trent and Bill Covington were absent from the meeting.

Ashley Hodge reports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at ahodge@gazettevirginian.com

Ashley Hodge is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at ahodge@gazettevirginian.com