Thursday, May 13, 2010
Sheriff speaks to group at Ole Miss
By SUE WATSON
Marshall County Sheriff Kenny Dickerson was the invited speaker and guest of honor at the recent banquet of the University of Mississippi Department of Legal Studies, School of Applied Sciences.
The department, chaired by Dr. David McElreath, provides crucial training in the justice system to law enforcement officers and those moving into careers in criminal justice.
Dickerson, a nearly 40-year veteran law enforcement officer, is well known among his peers over the state of Mississippi as well as outside the state.
David Cook was recognized at the banquet as the recipient of the Rob Warren Outstanding Criminal Justice Student Award. Cook has pursued his higher education while continuing to work at the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department. The award is given to the outstanding criminal justice student of the year.
Dickerson was invited to speak before a group of close to 200 educators and law enforcement officers, judges and district attorneys because of his many years of service to law enforcement and support to the University, according to Jimmy Warren, special agent with the sheriff’s department and retired deputy U.S. Attorney.
The sheriff applauded the Department of Legal Studies for its contributions to educating law enforcement officers. The department gives law enforcement officers the tools they need to do their jobs and to combat ever increasing sophistication of crimes and criminals.
McElreath said Dickerson is a “model of professionalism.”
“He is, without question, a man of the highest integrity and honor. He has been an outstanding supporter of the department for years, employing graduates, training interns, influencing our next generation of justice professionals.”
Dickerson commented on the importance of dedicated, as well as educated, officers who serve in public safety. As a veteran of the Mississippi Highway Patrol, Dickerson worked many years in criminal investigations before being elected as sheriff of Marshall County in 1995. During his tenure with MHP he was nominated and successfully graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
Dickerson took the officer of the year award during his first year with MHP and was recipient of the patrol’s highest honor for bravery and heroism in the line of duty.
“In my many years of law enforcement, I have seen the best of the best and the worst of the worst, relating to crimes and crime victims,” he said. “Many of the sights I have seen during my career have caused me to experience many nightmares during my sleep. My experience, education and training have helped me to serve the citizens of Marshall County and state in an effective manner. The privilege of working with some of the best people in the judiciary and attorneys on both sides and fellow elected officials has been most rewarding, as has been the case with my entire staff and other law enforcement agencies.
“I do my best to carry out the duties of the sheriff’s office in a way and manner that is fair to the young and old, rich and poor, black and white. I take the office very seriously, not as an ego trip, and have always been thankful to the electorate who put me in office.”
Dickerson said he has to be able to say no but is very careful never to deliberately mislead anyone.
He said he thanks God most for watching over him and others who work in public safety during the many dangerous encounters and he remains most humble for God’s over watching and care.
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