Law enforcement an often-thankless and difficult job

Published 8:53 am Friday, May 15, 2015

Back when I was in the third grade in elementary school, there was this older kid who always came by to check on me just in case I needed something.

When he learned everything was OK in my world, he’d head back to his class that was located on the adjacent wing.

His concern began a bond that still exists to this day.

Little did I know the older kid would one day grow up to become Pike County sheriff. Mark Shepherd is in his third term serving Pike County, Miss.

Shepherd’s concern for his fellow man back at Otken Elementary in McComb continues to serve him well today. He is probably one of the more popular and trustworthy sheriffs Pike County has had in quite some time.

I mention all this at a time when the integrity of all law enforcement personnel has taken a hit in recent weeks. There have been a number of officer-involved shootings around the country that resulted in the deaths of individuals who apparently didn’t comply with demands to stop fleeing from officers.

It’s those instances that seem to grab the headlines and bring out the protestors en masse. Every life is precious to be certain, but it doesn’t seem to matter to protestors that many of the people who are shot by the officers have lengthy rap sheets and are definitely not what most would call “upstanding citizens.”

Where is the hue and cry around the country when officers are gunned down for simply doing their job? Hattiesburg, Miss. police officers Liquori Tate and Benjamin Deen were fatally shot last Saturday during a traffic stop. Five people face various charges in that case.

I remember Tate played basketball for South Pike High School when I lived in McComb. His dream was to become a police officer. Bogalusa Police Department and Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office officials attended a service for the officers on Thursday.

Tommy Daughdrill, another dear friend from childhood, was slain by a suspected mentally ill indivdual on Aug. 26, 1992. Tommy was just trying to help the man. So senseless.

It seems to me law enforcement is under attack from all sides. If somebody hasn’t done anything, why do they see the need to run from the police. To me, that is an admission of guilt for something.

Although today is Peace Officers Memorial Day around the country, law-abiding citizens should take the time and thank those who risk their lives on a daily basis protecting innocent people every day. More often than not, I’m sure it’s a thankless job, but can you imagine a country without a police presence? That is a scary situation.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation that designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world meet in Washington, D.C., to participate in planned events to honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The Memorial Service began in 1982 as a gathering of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement.

I’d like to publicly salute all the men and women in law enforcement. You’re doing a dangerous job and should be commended for your bravery.

Randy Hammons is a Daily News staff writer. He cane be contacted by calling 985-732-2665 or by email at