Law Enforcement Foundation helps community

Published 10:24 am Friday, December 23, 2022

Sometimes, local law enforcement agencies need some help. Whether it’s money for additional training opportunities, gear to protect themselves or support when a police officer suffers a personal loss. That’s where the Heart of Virginia Law Enforcement Foundation (LEF) comes in for Farmville, Prince Edward, Buckingham and Cumberland counties, along with Longwood University and Hampden-Sydney College.

Created in 2017, the LEF was organized by three local businessmen, along with local law enforcement leaders. It’s an established 501 ©3 nonprofit, government by local police and a board of directors, with 100% of the funds going to support local officers and their families in this community. That board of directors includes Ron Dowdy, John and Toni Demaio and Tim and Lisa Tharpe.

“Law enforcement officers dedicate their lives to the community,” said Cumberland County Sheriff Darrell Hodges. “The fact that these families have donated funding, so officers can be recognized and taken care of in their own time of need is very heartwarming. We are so grateful for, and honestly overwhelmed by, the generosity and true leadership of these families.”

His comments were echoed by Farmville Police Chief Andy Ellington and Buckingham Sheriff Billy Kidd, who said the departments and officers appreciate the strong support given by the board members.

“While law enforcement is being targeted in many communities across the nation, we’re sincerely supported across this area as we strive to always gain additional trust and mutual respect,” Kidd said. “This foundation is a prime example of that.”


Tim Tharpe said it was important to him and his wife Lisa to provide support for local officers.

“If tragedy strikes, we owe them the security of knowing their insurance and bills will be taken care of,” Tim Tharpe said. “Officers go above and beyond, putting their lives on the line daily to protect our community and its people. We need to do our part to give back and show we appreciate them.”

Tharpe’s co-founder in the project, Ron Dowdy, said the goal was to create a foundation that the community looks to as a source of pride.

“(We wanted to build) one that will support those who protect us and put their lives on the line on a daily basis,” Dowdy said.

Individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations can offer pledges toward the foundation by emailing