Holloway praises officers, police department at awards ceremony

Here is the prepared text of the remarks that Mayor A.J. Holloway made Feb. 14, 2003 at an awards ceremony at the Lopez-Quave Public Safety Center, where two officers were awarded Medals of Valor by Holloway and Police Chief Bruce Dunagan, and several officers were recognized by the DEA.

Thank you. I’m glad to see so many of you here this afternoon. I want to especially thank the families and friends of Investigator Craig Shows and Patrolman Anthony Proctor for being here. And I thank the extended family of the Biloxi Police Department for being here.

This is a very special occasion for this city and this department.

When people ask me about our police and fire departments, I like to say that we have the best-paid, the best-trained and the best-equipped police and fire departments in the state of Mississippi, in the south.

Today, we are here to honor two of the bravest – Craig Shows and Anthony Proctor. And in a way, we’re here to honor the entire police department.

When I say that you’re the best-paid, best-trained and best-equipped, some people might say I’m partial since I’m the Mayor. The fact is, y’all are the ones who make it happen.

We depend on you to keep our streets and neighborhoods safe, to watch out for our children and senior citizens, and, like the rest of us, you’ve had to deal with a growing number of challenges – more residents, more visitors, more traffic and more work.

On top of that, you’ve also got those terrorism warnings in the back of your mind – probably as much today as in the days right after 9-11. We’re in a new world. The very freedoms that make our country so great also allow terrorists to come into this country and attack us – and you’re the first responders.

And let’s not forget, as police officers, every now and then you find yourself in a life-and death situations. It’s a possibility that you face everyday on the job. It could be any call on any day.

All of that is a lot to deal with.

Craig Shows and Anthony Procter both went to work one day a few months ago and found themselves involved in life-and-death situations. No warning, no notice – and it all happened in seconds.

In Anthony’s case, a man pulled out a gun and gunfire ensued during a traffic stop. Craig was serving a search warrant at a suspected drug dealer’s house, and the house had been booby trapped with a shotgun.

I am relieved that both of these officers are with us. I am proud that they both handled these situations with professionalism and did their jobs as they were trained to do.

I congratulate both of you. I appreciate the jobs being done by you and ALL of the men and women in our police department. And I also thank your friends and families for the love and support they give you.

God bless all of you, and especially Craig and Anthony.

Thank you.