COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)-The Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol is celebrating 75 years of existence. So much has changed since the group was formed in 1938. A proud member of the elite group of law enforcement personnel has turned in his badge and gun….but not his experience on the road.
On the very year state highway patrolmen are celebrating the anniversary of their existence, 27 years later one of their own reflects on the good time he has had and the people he has met. Butch Hayes Stewart of Webster County have run into one president and a couple of governors.
“I’ve hauled Governor Ronnie Musgrove around, Governor Cliff Finch, I’ve hauled him around. Got more history with him,” said Stewart.
Starting out first in Batesville, Stewart did his job well on the roadways, let him tell it. While keeping you and those other people safe, there was another mission.
“Number one goal was trying to get home safely every night. Cause you never know when you walk up to a car at night or any situation what you might be fixing to you know get into. Its like waiting on the Lord on watch. You just need to be ready for whatever is coming your way you know. And do the best you can,” said Stewart.
Lot of changes in the MHP’s 75 year history, technology changes in just Stewart’s tenure alone. According to our retiree, patrolmen are better trained these days.
“I think they are better equipped, they are better trained. Now with the computer age that’s come about, the trooper. He can sit there in his car, don’t even have to bother a dispatcher. He can type in a vehicle registration check a drivers license check. Also some of these troopers years ago they couldn’t hardly print a good ticket. But now the printer prints it out. You can read everything they got you for,” adds Stewart.
Stewart, who got a chance to meet personally with President George Bush Sr. started his career as a Webster County Sheriff dispatcher.