TUPELO – Two officers were recognized and awarded by the American Legion’s Post 49 on Saturday.
Pontotoc Sheriff’s Department’s Bradley Owen was named the area’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year and Master Sgt. Dean Hudson, of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in Monroe County, was named runner-up.
The two were nominated by their departments and then selected from a pool of more than 20 officers from Lee, Itawamba, Monroe, Chickasaw, Pontotoc and Union counties.
“It’s an honor and blessing from God to be recognized by an organization like this,” Owen said. “I know that it’s a calling from God to be in law enforcement and I want to try and help people through this uniform. I think there is more to law enforcement than writing tickets. I think it’s about helping people any way you can and I’ve tried to do that.”
Owen has been a law enforcement officer since 2007.
Hudson said he takes pleasure in working with the state’s sportsmen.
“To be recognized by these men is an honor,” he said. “The people standing in this room are the true heroes.”
He said he tries to treat people fairly, the way he would wanted to be treated, when wearing the uniform.
John Repult, chairman of the selection committee, said they chose the two officers because of their community service.
“We expect all law officers to do their job and they are doing it but the two guys we’re recognizing today serve their communities well,” he said.
The two officers were awarded with plaques as well as a cash prize of $500 for first place and $300 for second place.
Repult said Owen serves as a full-time deputy in Pontotoc County as well as a part-time officer in the Ponotoc, Algoma and New Albany police departments. He volunteers at the Algoma Fire Department and mows lawns for elderly residents.
He said Hudson runs hunter safety and education courses in Monroe County. He also teaches children throughout his community about wildlife and outdoor safety.
JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal