WDAM-TV Hattiesburg

National Police Week honors fallen law enforcement officers

By Caroline Wood

PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - It’s a time dedicated to honoring the men and women in blue.

From May 15 through the 21, people across the nation are paying tribute to the brave men and women who put their lives at risk every day.

“It is important that we remember law enforcement officers are human, fathers, mothers, daughters, friends, and neighbors,” said Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Mississippi. “When they leave their families to report to work, they knowingly step into harm’s way to protect and serve.”

It’s a job many are afraid to do. But for some, it’s a calling.

“I guess it boils down to ‘someone has to do it, and if not us, who?’” said Tommy Cox, Laurel Police Chief.

Sometimes that calling comes with sacrifice.

Six officers have died in the line of duty with the Hattiesburg Police Department.

Though we remember and honor those fallen officers, thankfully, not every department experiences that loss first-hand.

That’s something that the Laurel Police Department doesn’t take for granted.

“We have been extremely lucky throughout the years,” Cox said. “We’ve not lost an officer in the line of duty... We all feel a bond and a loss when another officer loses his life. So, this is just a time of reflection.”

Even still, they continue working to keep our communities safe.

“There is a certain amount of risk in law enforcement, but you accept that going in...,” said Cox. “You’ve got to really want to do it in this day and age. You can always talk about the difficulties, but also there’s a lot of rewards to being a police officer.”

Several Pine Belt law enforcement agencies are recruiting new officers, one of them being the Laurel Police Department.

If you’re interested in joining LPD, call 601-425-4711 for more information.