A local first responder was honored in Greenville after more than half a century of service.

Local veterans and first responders packed into American Legion Post 39 to welcome Pitt County Deputy Sheriff Kenneth “K-R” Evans into the “Order of the Long Leaf Pine.”

Legally regarded as the Governor’s Public Service Award, “The Order” is among the most prestigious awards presented by the governor.

Recipients must have at least thirty years of service and as of April 2015, Evans has over fifty years under his belt.

“KR” says a lifelong dream led him to serve with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office. Before that, Evans held a police badge with the Greenville Police Department for thirty years until retiring as a Captain in 1995.

“You couldn’t ask for anything any better if you were gone get an award but I can’t imagine anything better,” Evans said. “Sometimes you wonder if you make good impressions or bad impressions, but evidently one or two of them were good.”

“KR” was once the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office’s first Chief Narcotics Investigator and made the first major Narcotics arrest in Pitt County. Evans has also worked under four Sheriffs and 6 Police Chiefs during his more than fifty years of service.

Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks was also presented with a certificate in honor of his service.