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KPD detective named 2019 recipient of Mark Vance Memorial Award

J. H. Osborne • Updated Oct 19, 2019 at 3:02 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — A Kingsport Police Department detective was recognized Friday for her dedication to victims of domestic violence and for her exceptional assistance in prosecuting such cases.

KPD Detective Abby Ford was presented the 2019 Mark Vance Memorial Award during a ceremony at the Branch House Family Center.

The honor is named for a police officer who was killed in November 2004 while responding to a domestic violence call in Bristol.

District Attorney Barry Staubus said 40% of court cases in Sullivan County are connected to domestic violence, and often the same people are involved time and time again.

“We want to break that,” Staubus said, noting October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Staubus said it is a time not only to honor those working to combat it, but also a time to remember the victims.

Staubus said working to help domestic violence victims can be challenging because they are often traumatized beyond being able to believe help is really available when it is offered. Staubus said officers must be hard-nosed but compassionate.

“You have to have someone who is willing to roll up their sleeves and get creative,” Staubus said.

KPD Lt. Sean Chambers introduced Ford and presented her with the award.

“Word’s can’t explain how pleased I am with her work ethic, what she does on a daily basis and the way she conducts herself,” Chambers said of Ford. “It is truly a pleasure to watch her do her job. And she does it with compassion and caring. Abby constantly fights the good fight.”

The ceremony also honored Clara Reynolds, a sophomore at East Tennessee State University, as the 2019 Daryl Marino Volunteer Award, which recognizes the Branch House’s Outstanding Volunteer of the Year.

Branch House Board Chairman Andy Wampler said Reynolds, of Kingsport, has always been ready to jump in and help out anywhere she’s needed and is ever eager to go above and beyond in any way she can.

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