Fallen Officers Remembered

By: Colleen Donovan   Bio | Email | Twitter

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A 21-gun salute at Hattiesburg's police headquarters rang out Wednesday, a tribute to the sacrifices made by fallen officers.

Officers honored at the event were: M.W Vinson Junior, Sergeant David Anthony, Sergeant Jackie Dole Sherrill, and Debbie Everett's father - Officer Jessie James Everett, who was killed on March 9th, 1952 at just 27-years-old.

He was shot after chasing a suspect in relation to a burglary alarm call. The pursuit ended at Hattiesburg's former Fourth Street Grocery.

"They pulled in there," said Everett, "and Daddy went around to the passenger side, and this man was sitting there. Daddy said 'Hey,' and when he did, he pulled a gun out and shot him right in the heart. Hopefully Daddy died instantly."

Everett said the man who killed her father also shot Officer M.W Vinson, who responded to the scene with her dad. Debbie Everett was just a baby when her father was killed.

"When my father left home that morning, and said goodbye to his wife and children he was expecting to come back as I'm sure all these men's wives are so they need to be very careful<" she said. "I was 3-months-old, and my brother was 3-years-old when Daddy was killed, so we've only known him as a good man."

Police Chief Frazier Bolton said the department could not have reached their goals without the commitments made by past and present police officers.

"Nothing I can ever say can put into words to honor the memories of these officers who have fallen protecting the citizens," said Bolton.

By: Sheri Falk   Bio | Email | Twitter

FORREST COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - As a part of the 2009 National Police week, The Forrest County Sheriff's Department paid tribute Tuesday to five men who lost their lives in the line of duty.

"It is important that we remember people who went before us and gave the ultimate sacrifice," said Forrest County Sheriff Billy McGee.

The Gene Walters Law Enforcement Complex was turned into a place of tribute for people like Allen Humphrey, whose father was one of the five officers killed.

In 1965, Allen Humphrey was 6-years-old when his father Fredrick (Cotton) Humphrey was killed at a routine traffic stop in Palmer's Crossing.

"He was fulfilling his second term as a constable, he was 27-years-old." Humphrey said.

Every year he comes to this memorial service and other services around the Pine Belt to pay respects to families that have been in similar situations. He said it makes him feel good to know people still remember his father and want others to know their loved ones are being remembered too.

Along with Fredrick Humphrey, Howard Hagwood, Stewart Coates, Johnny Watts and John Klem's photos were hung in the entrance to the Forrest County Law Enforcement Complex.

Additional memorials will be held by the Hattiesburg Police Department, Petal Police Department and The Jones County Sheriff's Department.