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Today the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission will swear in two Captains in the Public Safety Department at 12:30 p.m. at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport.  This is part of an ongoing process in developing a fully staffed department responsible for maintaining public safety and offering firefighting and EMS services.

The two employees being sworn in today have diverse experience in law enforcement and firefighting, which makes them exceptionally qualified for the job of Captain.  Robbie Palmer, currently a sergeant in the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission’s Public Safety Department, has been working for the Commission for 10 years and has prior experience in public safety, firefighting and EMS.  Ray Clark has been a public safety officer with the Commission for 6 years and was formerly a Lieutenant with the Salem Police Department.

In September 2016, the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission swore in the entire department as police officers, enabling the officers to conduct investigations and have arresting powers, if needed, at the airport.  Currently, firefighting and EMS services are contracted through a separate company.  The goal of the Public Safety Department will be to provide all public safety, firefighting and EMS services for the airport.  Hiring and training the entire Public Safety Department in law enforcement, firefighting and EMS will bring all of these services in house for the first time in the history of the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission. 

“The Commission is proud of all of our employees, but today we are especially proud of Mr. Palmer and Mr. Clark as they take this additional step to attain our goal of a fully staffed Public Safety Department,” said Timothy T. Bradshaw, A.A.E., executive director of the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission.  “The development of this department has been my goal since I began my job as executive director of the Commission 2 years ago.  I am proud of the progress we have made along the way and appreciate the hard work of our human resources manager and director of public safety in making this a reality.”

Training in law enforcement, aircraft rescue and firefighting, and emergency medical services will be taking place for all members of the Public Safety Department over the next year.  It is anticipated that the shift to bring all of these services under the Commission umbrella will be complete in June 2018.


The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport is the primary airport for Virginia’s Blue Ridge.  ROA moves over 600,000 passengers per year via 4 airlines (American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, and Allegiant Air) with nonstop service to 6 (Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, New York LaGuardia, Philadelphia, and Washington Dulles) hub cities as well as weekly flights to Orlando Sanford International Airport and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport. To learn more, please visit