By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
DRY CREEK – Jane Crenshaw, the widow of Tippah County Deputy DeWayne Crenshaw, who gave his life in service in December, has one request of the public.
She asks people wear a blue ribbon until Saturday to honor all law enforcement officers during National Police Week.
Jane Crenshaw is in Washington today to participate in the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Ceremony, where her late husband is one of five Mississippi officers and 162 officers nationwide who were killed in the line of duty in 2010.
“This is a 49 percent increase from the year before, and that’s a very important reason I want to get the story out,” Jane Crenshaw said. “It’s been five months but it’s still really fresh for me. I want to let people know how really important law enforcement is and not to forget them.”
Jane Crenshaw left Friday and will be in Washington until Tuesday. She’ll attend Sunday’s memorial ceremony and programs and workshops of National Police Week 2011.
She’ll be joined by three of DeWayne Crenshaw’s children and two of his grandchildren: Adam Crenshaw of Ripley; Tammy Hayes of Jacksonville, Fla.; Sandy Crenshaw and her daughter, Kylie, of Middleburg, Fla., and granddaughter Veronica Dame of Jacksonville.
“I think law enforcement officers have a special calling like nurses or ministers,” Jane Crenshaw said. “My husband was someone who always wanted to help from a very young age.”
Also joining Jane Crenshaw on the trip is Blue Mountain Police Chief Billy Johnson, who also is a Tippah County deputy.
“He and DeWayne were close, and my husband’s partner was unable to go because of his wife’s pregnancy,” Jane Crenshaw said. “When I asked him, he said he would be honored.”
DeWayne Crenshaw died Dec. 3, when he was shot when responding to an early morning domestic disturbance call.
He was a retired master sergeant in the U.S. Army who earned several Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star in Vietnam. He had worked for the Tippah County Sheriff’s Department for several years as a deputy and jailer, and his son, Adam Crenshaw, works for the department as a jailer now.
DeWayne Crenshaw was awarded a posthumous Purple Heart and plaque by the Military Order of the Purple Heart chapter in Oxford; a Medal of Honor Award plaque from the American Police Hall of Fame and Museum, where his name will be engraved on the Memorial Wall in Titusville, Fla.; a plaque with the DeWayne Crenshaw Act passed by the Mississippi Legislature that makes new drugs like fake bath salts illegal; and other honors.
Jane Crenshaw is on a mission now to bring a chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors to north Mississippi.
The nearest chapter is in Meridian, and she is working with the widow of Mississippi Highway Patrolman Steve Hood, who died in 2009 in a high-speed chase while on duty.
“I just don’t think people realize what these men and women sacrifice, what their families sacrifice,” Jane Crenshaw said. “I can’t believe all the support I have gotten, not just from my community but from across the nation. It makes me very humble, and I just wish he could be here to see it.”
Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.