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Sheriff honored for work with military employees, veterans

Essex County Sheriff Richard Cutting, right, shakes hands with Deputy and Navy Reservists Mark Bruce after receiving the Patriot Award from Ret. Col. William Murphy.

Essex County Sheriff Richard Cutting, right, shakes hands with Deputy and Navy Reservists Mark Bruce after receiving the Patriot Award from Ret. Col. William Murphy. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Essex County Sheriff Richard Cutting stepped down from the pulpit after giving his report during the May 13 Public Safety Committee meeting and started to leave the old county courthouse.

“Hold on, Richard,” Committee Chair Randy Preston said. “You’re not excused yet.”

Preston then introduced Ret. Army Col. William Murphy, who now serves as the Northern Zone Representative for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.

Murphy, who works with employers and soldiers to educate them on their responsibilities that go with deployment and getting back into the workforce after employment, was there to present the Patriot Award to the sheriff, a surprise honoring that only he, Undersheriff Michael Badger and Deputy Mark Bruce, who also serves in the Navy Reserve, knew about.

“This man loves his job in Essex County and submitted the name of an individual for a Patriot Award,” Murphy said. “He holds him in high regard.”

Murphy then read from the letter that Bruce sent to nominate Cutting for the award.

“I have received full support and pay without argument,” he read. “My supervisors have always had the best open door policy concerning anything or any issues with my military service and have changed my hours on short notice due to military service.”

“This was a complete surprise,” Cutting said. “We have 16 veterans working on our staff, and they are the reason that we are here and able to meet. Anything that we can do to help these guys and support them, we do.”

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