Thursday, March 24, 2011
Service honors comrades
By SUE WATSON
Sheriff Kenny Dickerson described the late Eddie Mae Lucas and the late Carol Scruggs as “special people, special officers.”
A year after the death of Lucas and less than a year after the loss of deputy Scruggs, employees with the sheriff’s department and Dickerson held a memorial service for the families of the two women.
It was held at the Holly Springs National Guard Armory Tuesday of last week and included a catfish and spaghetti dinner with the works prepared by the sheriff and his staff.
Dickerson thanked the mothers for enriching the lives of their daughters so they became the best of the best.
“They were the best type caliber of employees an administrator could ever ask for,” Dickerson said. ‘They did their jobs in a manner required and never had to be told or scolded to get them to do it.
“Ms. Eddie Mae went way back to the days of Sheriff Bell in the ’80s. She was a great legal secretary, bookkeeper and dedicated employee, in my opinion from the roots of the way she was raised. She was a one of a kind in her capacity and we are thankful God let us have her as long as He did.”
Scruggs, without exception, was the topmost caliber of a deputy, he said.
“I don’t know if I ever saw someone with the excellence and caliber, with the talent and with the ability to remember details,” Dickerson said. “She had a knack about investigative skills. She went beyond her duties as deputy and could be counted on seven days and seven nights a week, no matter how long it was going to take, how cold or how hot.”
Dickerson said Scruggs’ word could be counted on and her reports were done excellently.
“Thanks to the Hampton family in guiding Carol and in helping her do what she loved,” the sheriff said.
He thanked other elected officials, some of whom were present, for their support of the work of the sheriff’s department, explaining that now, more than ever, it is important to have dependable employees to continue to fight crime.
Special assistant Jimmy Warren echoed the remarks made by Dickerson, saying he has ties with Eddie Mae going back to the ’80s when he worked with Sheriff Bell.
“She had a wonderful way and was always right on point,” Warren said.
He said he is proud the sheriff has made sure Scruggs’ family has gotten everything they are entitled to under the law. Warren announced that on Friday, May 13, Scruggs’ family will have the opportunity to attend a special candle-light vigil at the National Memorial of Fallen Law Enforcement Officers in Judiciary Square in Washington, D.C., where her name will be placed on a wall with the names of other fallen officers.
Warren said it is important for the children of the family to participate in such honorary events so they will be able to look back with good memories on their lives and be able to say, “I was there that night.”
“Let’s say a prayer and think about Carol,” he said.
Walter Bell, who thinks he has been at the sheriff’s department longer than most anyone else, worked with Eddie Mae and all the sheriffs since. He called his friend, Eddie Mae, “a lady of perfection.”
Mae Garrison, deputy justice court clerk, was a close friend to both ladies. She laughed about how Eddie Mae would come bum cigarettes when she was trying to quit smoking. Her friendship with Carol Scruggs went deep, she said.
Speaking tearfully, Garrison described her thoughts about her friend Carol, saying she was the last person who talked to Carol the morning of her car accident the day she died.
“God needed the perfect rose, so she was ready to be picked,” said Garrison. “I want her to know I was there for her that day when she took her final breath.”
Monet Autry, justice court clerk, relied on Eddie Mae to cheer her up. And she loved Scruggs because she helped convince a father, whose son kept beating him up, to come in and press charges.
“I said to Carol to bring in the young man who was beating up his father and Carol brought him in,” Autry said. “His father kept coming in and dropping charges.”
Wanda Lucas thanked everyone for their kind words and cards and “what you have done for our family.”
Carol Scruggs’ sister, Gloria Hubbard, said “Carol loved her job and died doing what she loved to do best.”
On behalf of the family, she thanked all the sheriff's department had done for her sister.
A fund-raiser to help pay for a bus fare to carry 40 to Washington, D.C., for the candlelight vigil is set for April 2 at Coopwood Park in the morning. The family is taking donations and will accept them at the park.
The evening was capped off by Maj. David Cook, who spoke of the importance of honoring their own.
“Bobby (Harris) and I were talking about it, and you’ve got so many battles with crime,” said Cook. “But here, it’s unity. It’s one big family.”
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