Captain Larry Hubbard “exemplifies what it means to serve others. His leadership, valor and dedication to protecting the community is a model to his fellow officers.”
Concord Police Chief Gary Gacek spoke those words Friday in front of the Peace Officers Memorial, where Hubbard was named the 2023 recipient of the Robert J. Eury Memorial Award.
“He always steps up, and goes above and beyond to help others, no matter the circumstances,” Gacek told the crowds. “There is no one more deserving of this prestigious honor.”
Local officers and the community gather annually for the Law Enforcement Day and Peace Officers Memorial ceremony, where the community pays tribute to an outstanding veteran officer and memorializes local officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. The event is held on Corban Avenue between the Sheriff’s Office and Government Center.
Hubbard’s dedication to service started early in his nearly 30-year law enforcement career. After joining the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in 1994, he entered a house fire to rescue a disabled, bedridden homeowner.
The act earned him a Medal of Merit.
Four years later, he joined the City of Concord, becoming a sergeant in 2014 and a lieutenant in 2019. In 2022, he became a Captain over Concord’s Criminal Investigations Division.
Hubbard served in community programs, educating inexperienced teen drivers about the risks of aggressive and impaired driving. He volunteered on the department’s Use of Force Committee, Commendations Committee and the firearms program. Since 2003, he has been an instructor of Basic Law Enforcement Training at various community colleges.
Beaming with gratitude, Hubbard stood at the podium and recognized those who contributed to his career success.
“My sweet wife … you got me,” he said with a smile. “To Sheriff (Van) Shaw, Chief (Terry) Spry and Gacek, thank you all very much for this amazing recognition. Thank you for everyone here that I’ve served under for teaching me and helping me accomplish all my goals.
The prestigious Eury Award is presented annually to an officer with at least 20 years of experience who demonstrates true commitment to law enforcement and service to the community. Eury, a Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Deputy, was killed in the line of duty on May 5, 1972.
“There is no greater duty of government than keeping the public safe,” Senator Paul Newton said in his keynote address. “Everything else is second to that.”
Chief Gacek also recognized a recently identified officer killed in the line of duty over 100 years ago. A researcher looking into local military veterans came across the name of Ralph Chandler Kennerly. The researcher learned that Kennerly had served with the Concord Police Department following World War I.
In 1920—less than a year after joining the force—Kennerly was killed while trying to apprehend a suspect. A plaque with Kennerly’s name was added to the Concord Police Department’s Fallen Officer Memorial
Friday’s event concluded with a White Rose Ceremony paying tribute to the names listed on the memorial, followed by a 21-gun salute by the Kannapolis Police Rifle Team and “Taps” performed by Cory Kluttz of the Kannapolis Police Department.
Cabarrus County Emergency Management Operations Chief Drew Barkley and Officer Dallas Hurley of the Concord Police Department played a bagpipe recessional of “Amazing Grace.”
Since 1899, eight law enforcement officers lost their lives serving Cabarrus residents in the line of duty:
- William J. Kearns: Concord Police Department, September 2, 1899
- Ralph Chandler Kennerly: Concord Police Department, October 20, 1920
- William F. Propst: Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office, November 17, 1922
- Martin R. Kiser: Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office, March 3, 1931
- Robert J. Eury: Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office, May 5, 1972
- Roger D. Carter: Kannapolis Police Department, December 31, 1993
- Jackie L. Daniel: NC DMV, July 28, 1994
- Jason N. Shuping: Concord, Police Department, December 16, 2020
The 2023 Law Enforcement Day and Peace Officers Memorial event will air on Cabarrus County Television, Spectrum Cable Channel 22, every day of May at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. beginning Saturday, May 6. The public can watch on demand at youtube.com/cabarruscounty or Facebook.com/CabarrusCounty.