Larry Wooddell, a retired law enforcement officer for the Virginia Tech Police Department, has received the university’s 2017 Staff Career Achievement Award.
Wooddell retired from the university in 2016 after 21 years of service.
Created in 2011 to recognize retiring staff members, the Staff Career Achievement Award is presented annually to as many as five individuals who have distinguished themselves through exemplary performance and service during their university careers. Nominees must have worked a minimum of 10 years at Virginia Tech. Each recipient is awarded a $1,000 cash prize.
After joining the police department at Virginia Tech in 1995, Wooddell was committed to providing service and ensuring the safety of the community. During the course of his career, Wooddell became certified in drug enforcement, hazardous materials, breathalyzer operations, crime prevention specialist, underwater recovery, and defensive tactics.
Devoted to service, Wooddell became a certified field training officer, which allowed him to pass on his knowledge from his multiple certifications and invaluable experience as a patrol officer.
Wooddell was often seen on campus on his patrol bike engaging with students, staff, and faculty. He was a also member of the Emergency Response Team, and was instrumental in preventing further loss of life on April 16, 2007.
Wooddell and his beloved explosives K9, “Boomer,” conducted hundreds of K9 demonstrations as ambassadors for the Virginia Tech Police Department. He demonstrated his commitment to Boomer by delaying his retirement one year because Boomer still had one year of service.
Heavily involved in Virginia’s “Bike for the Blue,” Wooddell joined and assisted the annual law enforcement bike ride in commemoration of Police Memorial week. As a result of those efforts, Wooddell received two Governor’s Awards.
-submitted by Laura Neff-Henderson