Byrne honored as citizen of the year
By By Kerry Whipple Bean
Brewton native Bradley Byrne was honored Tuesday night as the community’s Citizen of the Year, recognized for his service as a circuit judge and for founding the drug court that has helped change lives.
Byrne launched the county’s drug court in 2001, and it has become a model of success in the state, the judge’s courthouse colleagues told members of the Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce during their annual dinner.
Others in the legal and law enforcement community spoke of Byrne’s dedication, and District Attorney Steve Billy read from letters sent by two of Byrne’s children.
Byrne, the son of former Sheriff Scotty Byrne, said he was honored tto be recognized in his hometown. His wife, Ann, was Citizen of the Year in 2001. “I look back at the list (of former citizens of the year) and see so many people who played a part in my life and had expectations of me,” Byrne said. “This is a fulfillment of those expectations.”
Byrne credited the staff and supporters of drug court with its success.
Smith said perhaps nothing spelled the success of the drug court program like its participants, and quoted from a drug court graduate: “Judge Byrne provided me wit the tough love no one else provided. … You are making a difference.”