Hattiesburg group honors first 3 African-American state troopers
The first 3 African-American men to serve with the Mississippi Highway Patrol were honored in Hattiesburg today. Hattiesburg native Walter Crosby, Pike County native Richard Williams and Lewis Younger of Yazoo City were recognized for their service to the state this afternoon.
A Hattiesburg citizens group sponsored the event at the Metroplex Center next to Hawkins Elementary School. The three retired troopers, who joined the Mississippi Highway Patrol in 1972, were also recently honored by the State House of Representatives for their service.
Crosby and Williams said they appreciated today's event. Younger was unable to attend.
"We just did a good job as far as we were concerned, but they said we were trailblazers," Walter Crosby said. "I'm glad they think that much of me and I'm glad the House of Representatives thought that much of me to give us that award," he said.
"It's a good feeling, but initially, we did not necessarily start to make the news or to make history," said retired trooper and current capitol police officer Richard Williams. "We were just simply looking for a job and it happened," Williams said.
All tolled, Crosby, Williams and Younger have more than 60 years of combined service with Mississippi law enforcement agencies.