Families and fellow officers place roses on a plaque to honor those who died in state law enforcement.
Across all law enforcement divisions across the state, a total of 37 officers have died in the line of duty since the 1940s.
Among the crowd of attendees is Vicky Magee of Foxworth, widow of Officer Joey McGee who died while serving with the Department of Transport’s Enforcement Division 15 years ago. She and her three children speak with other families who have lost loved ones.
“It means a lot. You have someone who’s been through similar things to yours, like that lady who was sitting next to me with the two young children,” Magee says. ‘one and a half, five and nine when their father was killed. And I know it’s a struggle as a young mother with young children to go through, losing your partner and your spouse.
The ceremony also serves as a reminder to other officers of the risks they take with a career in law enforcement, Public Safety Commissioner Sean Tindell said. He says the state could better prepare for dangerous situations through de-escalation training and specialized officers.
“We’re starting to focus more on mental health and mental health workers,” Tindell says. “We ask our law enforcement officers to not only carry the gun and the badge and protect the community and do so many things, we also want them to be social workers and defuse domestic situations, mental health visits and other things. It’s too much to ask of them. »
Mississippi also expanded death benefit requirements to include first responders who died from the coronavirus.