WHY I LOVE FARMVILLE: Andy Ellington
Farmville Police Chief Andy Ellington was named chief of police for the Town of Farmville in October 2016 but has been a member of the Farmville Police Department for more than 31 years, serving in several roles as he came through the ranks, including serving as acting chief of police twice before being named to the full-time position.
Ellington recently took the time to answer some questions about why he loves Farmville.
Q: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN FARMVILLE AND WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU REMEMBER NOTICING ABOUT THE AREA?
A: I was born in Farmville at Southside Community Hospital. I was raised, and reside just outside of town in Rice, for the past 52 years growing up here I remember a lot. I remember the construction of the first shopping center and the first Wal-Mart at Milnwood and South Main Streets. Over the past 52 years I have seen and remember a lot of changes took place in our town.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FARMVILLE MEMORY?
A: Being that I was born and raised here in Farmville I have many vivid and fond memories. I remember as a child standing on the hill with my grandmother where Oak and West Third Street intersect, viewing the flood waters after the hurricane in 1972. I always enjoyed riding my bicycle downtown to get ice cream from “Highs Ice Cream” that was located on High Streets. Then when McDonald’s was built, I would often ride my bike to get Big Macs. I also enjoyed providing security for Richard Gere and Jodie Foster during the filming of the movie “Sommersby.” Another memory is the first year National Night Out was celebrated in town. It was such a joy and exciting time to visit with all the neighborhoods throughout the evening, to have fellowship and see the support of our community towards our police department.
Q: HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE FARMVILLE GROW OR CHANGE IN THE FUTURE?
A: Although I love the small town atmosphere of Farmville, I realize there is a tremendous amount of opportunity for economic growth here in Farmville. I would like to see the development of industry and factories that would bring sound paying jobs for our community. We need this growth in order to attract our younger generation of graduates to remain citizens of the town. We cannot continue to rely solely upon our hospital and university to be the foundation of employment for the town.
Q: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE PEOPLE OF FARMVILLE TO OTHERS WHO ARE NOT FROM HERE?
A: Farmville has always been a close-knit community. Everyone is always very welcoming. Farmville has certainly grown over the past 20 years, yet we still have that loving feeling from citizens, to business owners.
Q: IF YOU HAD TO LEAVE FARMVILLE FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU MISS THE MOST?
A: I would certainly miss the aspect of knowing most everyone, and being known. I love patronizing our local businesses and restaurants.
Q: IF YOU HAVE TO TAKE A PICTURE TO REPRESENT FARMVILLE TO THOSE OUTSIDE OUR AREA, WHAT WOULD THAT PICTURE BE?
A: I would love to stand on the rooftop of the Weyonoke Hotel and create a panoramic picture, exposing a view of the Rotunda and Longwood University, and Downtown Main Street with a view of the old warehouses and store fronts.