HOULKA – The only people law enforcement officers feel comfortable around is other law enforcement officers.
The City of Houlka and Houlka Police Chief Ray Laney hosted the third annual Chickasaw County Law Enforcement Appreciation Luncheon at noon May 14, at the Houlka Community Center with over 39 law enforcement and court officials in attendance.
“I want to say I consider it an honor to work with each and every one of you,” said Laney in opening the luncheon. “This is a tough line of work and you don’t always know who you can count on and who you can trust. I am proud to say I feel I could call on any of you if I needed help.”
The City of Houlka then fed Sheriff’s Deputies, Houston, Houlka and Okolona police, Mississippi Highway Patrol troopers, Chickasaw County Justice Court Judges and the Coroner a meal of hamburgers, hotdogs, baked bean and potato salad. There was also a table heaped high with homemade desserts.
Laney said businesses across Chickasaw County donated the meal and door prizes.
Laney also introduced the Rev. David Blackwell, of Houlka First Baptist Church, as the noon speaker.
“Each of you is sworn to uphold the law and the law is based on morality,” said Blackwell. “I believe morality is based on God’s commands and not the views of our culture and society.”
Blackwell smiled when he said enforcing morality in an immoral culture is not easy for preachers or law enforcement.
“Like I said, you are sworn to uphold the law and doing what is right, or the law, can make people not like you and it can be dangerous,” he added. “Let me encourage you to ‘serve as unto our Lord and not as unto men,’ in your job.”
Blackwell pointed out working in law enforcement also takes away from personal time, families and hobbies. He urged officers not to forget their wives, their children or their church.
Blackwell also thanked each officers for their dedication.
“Each one of you has agreed to protect and serve the people of this community,” he said. “When you put on that uniform each day you never know when you might be called upon to lay your life on the line.”
Houlka Mayor Jimmy Kelly said the city was glad to host this event.
“This town started this a couple of years ago with just the Houlka officers in mind,” said Kelly. “It has grown to include the county, Okolona and state officers and judges. We had a good crowd today.”
Kelly also said every business in Houlka agreed to contribute something to the door prizes.
“I am proud to say this is a law abiding community that supports Ray and what he is trying to do up here,” said Kelly. “We got more donations this year than ever before.”
The tables were decorated and the meal was served by employees of Amanda Parish State Farm Insurance of Houston.