By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Darrell Hopkins was supposed to give a routine speech to area judges on Wednesday, or so he thought.
As an investigator for the Alcorn County Sheriff’s Department over the past 18 years, Hopkins spoiled conspiracy plots and sniffed out when something wasn’t right … until Wednesday.
Hopkins was named the 2009 CrimeStoppers Officer of the Year at the CrimeStoppers Annual Media Luncheon and had no idea he was even nominated.
“I’m shocked,” said a smiling Hopkins. “Sheriff told me to dress up to come and talk to some judges. They really got me this time. This is just so humbling to be nominated by your peers for such an honor. Probably the greatest award I’ve ever received.”
The luncheon honors the team effort of community, law enforcement and media, the triangle that makes CrimeStoppers of Northeast Mississippi successful, according to Coordinator Lt. Tim Tate. He said it’s the strong pieces of the triangle that make the unit one of the most successful in the state.
Tupelo was recognized as the top supporting law enforcement agency for the crime organization. Trish Harper, executive director of CrimeStoppers with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, said the Tupelo division is what she wants other units to emulate.
Northeast Mississippi CrimeStoppers includes nine counties and 11 cities in the area, making it the largest unit in the state.
Other awards given out at the luncheon were the Community Representative of the Year given to Summit Center owner Jimmy Pappas, Media Representative of the Year given to former Houston radio station owner Robin Mathis and CrimeStoppers Board member of the Year was awarded to Ken Wheeler.
After receiving his award, Hopkins enjoyed the moment with his colleagues and co-workers. Even though his name was the one on the plaque, he couldn’t take the credit alone.
“It takes a lot of work by all of us to be successful in law enforcement,” said Hopkins. “I didn’t do this alone. I had the help of a whole department and a whole county. As far as I’m concerned I just helped to push the paper through.”
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.