Fallen officers honored
Post office, highway memorialize lawmen who died on duty
From Staff Reports
May 4, 2021
Three Lincoln County lawmen who died in the line of duty a year apart were honored Monday with the renaming of the Brook-haven post office in their memory and a highway dedication.
Lincoln County sheriff’s deputy William Durr, Brookhaven Police Cpl. Zach Moak and police officer James White were honored with the post office dedication.
U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Rep. Michael Guest sponsored the legislation authorizing the name change in their memory.
The dedication ceremony included the unveiling of a commemorative plaque to be displayed at the post office at 201 W. Cherokee St.
Also Monday, the Mississippi Department of Transportation dedicated the stretch of Highway 51 from Natchez Avenue to Brookway Boulevard in memory of Moak and White.
MDOT dedicated the portion of Highway 51 from Lee Drive to Cold Springs Lane to Durr in July 2019.
Moak, 31, and White, 35, were killed Sept. 29, 2018, while responding to a report of a shooting. The suspected gunman, Marquis Flowers, has yet to stand trial.
Durr, 36, died in 2017 when he was the first deputy on the scene of a Memorial Day weekend domestic violence call. Willie Cory Godbolt killed the lawman and then went across the county and killed seven of his wife’s relatives. He was tried in Pike County last year, found guilty and sentenced to death.
Durr was a veteran law enforcement officer who previously served with the Brookhaven Police Department.
Moak had served with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department before serving with the Wesson and Brook-haven police departments.
White was a veteran of the war in Iraq and was injured during that service.
Hyde-Smith and Guest called the men heroes who laid down their lives for their community.
“In the years ahead, this post office — and part of Highway 51 — will serve as reminders of the brave service rendered by Deputy Durr, Corporal Moak, and Patrolman White,” Hyde-Smith said. “I know I will think of them each time I see this building or drive on that highway. I will think of their sacrifice and their families’ sacrifice. And I hope that these reminders cause each of us to redouble our commitment to supporting our law enforcement heroes.”
Guest added, “These men are American heroes, heroes who followed the creed and knowingly placed themselves in harm’s way, not for fame or money, but because of their commitment to ensuring the well-being of their friends and family.
“We will not forget their efforts to strengthen our community and to create a safer place for those they loved to live, worship and raise a family.
“With this memorial, we will always remember the selfless example they set in service to their fellow man.”
Others on hand for the event included Brookhaven Mayor Joe Cox, Police Chief Kenneth Collins, Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing, Rep. Becky Currie of Brookhaven and Diane Croutwell, who was Moak’s and White’s former teacher at Enterprise Attendance Center.