This is the second “Blue Edition” of the Tate Record. We started doing this edition last year to show support for our local law enforcement officers. This year, we decided to produce this issue for National Police Week in celebration of our local heroes.
I, for one, was pleasantly surprised at the number of people and business owners who agreed and volunteered to help show support for law enforcement.
After the recent events surrounding the arrest of Andre Burton and the storm of negative media coverage, hateful social media posts, community petitions and general questioning from the public, I figured now was as good of a time as ever to show our local guys and gals in blue that the community still believes in them.
Their job is harder than we can ever realize.
Now, am I slightly biased on this issue? Well sure. It’s not a secret my boyfriend is a member of the proud fraternity of police officers. We’re coming up quickly on the one-year mark so I’ve had almost a year of having a different view on what all goes into his world.
I’ve had a front row seat to those 3 a.m. call outs, early morning SWAT raids, bruises and bite marks from K-9 training, late night searches for missing persons, the exhaustion from instructing firearms to the entire department in a single day and random suspects trying to run him over. And that’s just within a year’s time!
It’s enough to make my head spin and the boyfriend reminds me all the time, “Sure you want to date a cop?” hummmm... (Just kidding!)
But it’s more than just my personal relationship with him. Over a year ago, I went through the Senatobia Police Department’s Citizen’s Academy. Led by Sergeant Kevin McKenzie, the class opened my eyes to the truly terrifying events that could happen with a simple traffic stop. Officers never know what could be waiting for them when they flip on those iconic blue lights and approach an unknown individual. Officers have been stabbed, spit-on, kicked, punched, shot and murdered for the simple act of pulling someone over for speeding.
In the almost two years since I’ve been at the paper, I’ve met most of the ladies and gentlemen who work for the Senatobia Police Department. I’ve interviewed a lot of them not only about crime stories, but also about their personal lives for inside profile stories about them. I’ve gotten to know their stories. The names of their spouses, their children, their parents, their concerns and their fears. And through that process, I now count them as friends.
See, it’s not just my significant other who is willing to put his life on the line everyday serving our Five Star City, but it’s the lives of my friends as well.
I’ve been criticized quite a lot during my time here for featuring crime stories on the front page of this paper.
First of all, crime is everywhere. Every community has it, so it’s not a mark of our town being worse than any other town. Unfortunately, until we all get to those pearly gates of Heaven and walk those streets of gold, we will not live in a place without crime.
Secondly, I put the pictures of those who commit crimes against children and the elderly in the paper so that our community may recognize their faces. I believe these individuals do not deserve to hide from their neighbors.
Finally, I’m proud of all the work that my friends in the Senatobia Police Department do to keep our community safe. I’m proud they get drugs off the street. I’m proud they save children from horrible situations. I’m proud they put people behind bars who literally have stolen from their own mothers.
I’m thankful for their sacrifices- the missed holidays with their families, the conflicted emotions over hard cases, the privately shed tears of relief, the sleepless nights, the town events spent in uniform instead of relaxed with friends and the volunteering for community outreach programs. Because of their hard work and effort, I want the community to see that our boys and girls in blue are doing their job. They are making Senatobia a better and safer place to raise families. So, I will continue to showcase their achievements through the stories informing the public in this newspaper.
Join me in letting our officers know how much we appreciate their efforts. Not only during this week of National Police Week, but throughout the year. It doesn’t take a lot to say two little words.