May 15 marks beginning of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Week

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – In a world where safety and security are at the forefront of society, we rely on those who answer the call to serve and protect.

National Law Enforcement Appreciation Week serves as a reminder of the vital role our law enforcement plays in our communities.

From the blaring sirens that signal their arrival to the reassurance their presence brings, police officers are the backbone of community safety.

They patrol our neighborhoods, respond to emergencies, and are the first responders during times of crisis.

Columbus Police Chief Josephy Daughtry explained why this week is so meaningful to him.

“This week hits home for a lot of officers especially myself because I’ve lost a lot of friends in 27 years who were killed in the line of duty. I’ve lost some people who I’ve trained in the academy as a training instructor. Those I work with day to day. I’ve also lost best friends. This week is the week we remember them. The anniversary of their death really means something but this week you really take the time to think about it. And it really puts things in proper perspective,” said Daughtry.

Daughtry said it’s not just about maintaining law and order.

“We’re counselors. We’re mentors. We’re marriage counselors. We deal with people with personal problems. I’ve pulled up on the scene since I’ve been in Columbus and seen people buying food. I know one officer bought a kid some shoes. To see these young men and women do stuff like that without thinking about it, it shows what kind of heart they have. You have to be a true servant to do this job,” said Daughtry.

Police officers depend on their relationships within the community to help bring about swift action and change in times of need.

“We can’t do it by ourselves. I’d be lying to you if I told you ‘Oh as a police chief, we’re going to go ahead and do it all by ourselves, we don’t need no help.’ We need help from everybody: from our community, from our judicial system, everybody. We all have a part to play,” said Daughtry.

Instead of seeking thanks, the chief shared his gratitude.

“Thank you, Columbus. Thank you for trusting us. Thank you for working with us. Thank you for having patience with us. Sometimes you don’t understand how much you mean to this department as the citizens of this city. But we want to thank you for having our back,” said Daughtry.

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