Lifetime Achievement Honoree Luther Shepherd (Wicomico)
Luther Shepherd is a VIPPS (Very Important Person in Police Services) and was selected for the Governor’s Service Award in the Lifetime Achievement category.
In 2003, being a police officer or Trooper was very different than 2020. Citations, warnings and the vast majority of paperwork was hand written, carbon paper was the best way to make copies of your work and a typewriter, though electric was the fastest way to get thoughts put on paper when it came to articulating an arrest. All this paperwork had to be separated, chronologically assembled and eventually disseminated throughout the legal process. “Paperless” was not in the business office vocabulary and the job took time and manpower. At that time, there was not enough manpower in a barrack to accommodate the so help was sought from the community. Then, Mr. Luther Shepherd started coming to Salisbury Barrack two to three times a week, for nearly 18 years. Prior to becoming a VIPPS (Very Important Person in Police Services) he owned his own insurance agency. He has a heart for helping people and goes above and beyond to service their needs.
Mr. Shephard has accrued over 4,000 volunteer hours since 2003. He has completed tasks which many would say are trivial, but he surely takes pride in the jobs he takes on. Mr. Luther recalls his jobs starting out as shredding paperwork, to counting citations and warnings, to typing the “transmittal sheets” to entering BI cards. To this day, he still completes those tasks, less counting tickets and warnings and seeks to do more so administrative staff can focus on other customer service work. During the holidays, his wife makes a “to die for” fudge and he brings it in metal container boxes of the prized goodies to which many of us fight over. People volunteer for an endless variety of reasons, to gain experience, acquire new skills, meet new people or expand their network. However, Mr. Luther has noted that his volunteerism with the agency has been good for him in that it keeps him busy and the work increases his mental and physical health.
The relationship between Mr. Luther and the barrack is symbiotic in nature. By having him here, we hope that his work and comradery amongst the staff helps reduce stress, combat depression, keeps him mentally stimulated, and provides him a sense of purpose. We enjoy his visits because clearly we feel and see the sense of pride and identity. He is serious about his work, often at times softly voicing his displeasure that many do not ask more of him or provide jobs he could handle on his own. But he comes and goes with a smile, offering a cheery “good morning sir” or “see you tomorrow” and at times a quick story about his day to day activities. We are truly blessed to have Mr. Luther in our midst and that presence benefits all.