By Angela Storey/Daily Corinthian
CORINTH – Husband and wife Derrick and Shannon Hester both work in law enforcement in Booneville and Prentiss County.
Derrick Hester is an investigator with the Prentiss County Sheriff’s Department and Shannon Hester, a native of Alcorn County and a former dispatcher at the Corinth Police Department, is a patrol officer with the Booneville Police Department.
Pursuing a career in law enforcement was not a difficult decision for Shannon as she had been around law enforcement all her life. An Alcorn County native, her dad, the late Charles Hinds Sr., was a highway patrolman, while her brother, Chuck Hinds, is employed with Corinth PD and serves as a constable in Alcorn County.
Shannon’s career began as a dispatcher with the Corinth Police Department in 1994, a job she held for 11 years.
The entire time she worked in communications she knew she wanted to be an officer. “I had to get nerve up to try out for the academy. Ten weeks away from family is a long time,” she says.
Shannon became a certified police officer in 2005 after having completed training at Mississippi Delta Community College Law Enforcement Training Academy.
“Every day was a challenge but if it’s something you want enough you can get through it,” Shannon said.
She worked as a police officer at Corinth PD from 2005-07 and later worked as a probation officer for the Mississippi Department of Corrections from 2007-2010. After staying home with their children for eight months, she then began working at Booneville PD in July 2011.
“No two days are the same,” Derrick says about his work. But they can often be stressed and fast paced. “Sometimes there are not enough hours in the day,” he says.
Shannon agrees no day is typical in law enforcement.
“When you put the uniform on to go to work you never know what your day will hold. You have to be prepared for anything,” she said.
“Growing up, I think every kid wants to be a police officer, but I never dreamed I would actually become one,” said Derrick, a 1995 graduate of Booneville High School.
He began working in law enforcement in 2003.
Derrick worked for the Booneville Police Department as a part-time/reserve officer for about three years and 6 1/2 years as a patrol deputy for the Prentiss County Sheriff’s Department. He has served as an investigator for the sheriff’s department for the last two years.
The couple met through mutual law enforcement connections. They married on Feb. 14, 2007. The couple resides in the Thrasher community with their three children, Jodie Taylor, 15, and Valerie Hester, 4, and Casen Hester, 3.
Both cite helping their community as being one of the most rewarding aspects of their work.
“The sense of accomplishment for the betterment of the community and I work with absolutely the best administration and co-workers anyone could ask for,” Derrick says when asked about some of the best things he likes about his work.
For Shannon it’s “Helping people in general … just being there to help people and making a difference in the world.”
“Every call you go on you never know what that call will hold for you,” she adds. “You never know what to expect. You never do the same thing every day. When you put your uniform on to go to work, you just have to pray that you and your fellow officers make it back home to your families at the end of the shift.”
“The most important aspect of any officer’s job should be to ‘do the right thing’ (a motto the Prentiss County Sheriff’s Department has adopted),” Derrick said.
“The second most important aspect is to uphold a positive public image,” he said.