In honor of National Police Week (May 10-16, 2020), the Young Marines Alumni Association is putting the spotlight on Alumni Kristen Richmond. Kristen was a Young Marine with the Tri-State unit (WV). Kristen’s mom enrolled her and her sisters when they were young. “That solitary decision, unbeknownst to us, changed the trajectory of our lives,” stated Richmond. After spending seven years in the program, she retired as a YM/MGySgt. After high school, Kristen went on to earn degrees from West Virginia University.
Kristen now serves as a deputy with the Brooke County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) in West Virginia. As a deputy, Kristen has risen to the rank of Corporal and is a K-9 Officer with her partner Dakota, a 5-year-old Dutch Shepherd trained in narcotics and apprehension. Kristen, also a drug recognition expert, and ‘Kota distinguished themselves as the first K-9 team for BCSO in over a decade. In a short three years, the K-9 team as been tested on several occasions and rose to the occasion.
In February of 2018, Kristen, along with two fellow officers, were honored by the West Virginia legislature for their heroic actions in rescuing two juveniles from a nuisance building that went ablaze. Kristen and the other officers disregarded their own safety to rescue the kids from the building, which collapsed just minutes after everyone evacuating.
Kristen also had a Facebook post that went viral in 2018 after a harrowing incident in which her and Dakota fought off a large male subject who was “gooned up on some drug.” Richmond found herself in a fight for her life and was able to stay in the fight until backup arrived, when it took all 4 responding officers to finally apprehend the subject. Kristen knows the situation could have ended up a lot worse. She credits her continued training and gives this advice: “You don’t want to be [in a moment], wishing you had done more to prepare for that exact moment.”
Kristen credited her adult volunteers for molding her into the woman she is today. Richmond emphasized that “they did not need to step in, but they took us under their wings as mentors, then into their homes and hearts as father figures.” The Young Marines Alumni Association is appreciative to Kristen and all of our Alumni who go on to serve in law enforcement.