Tippah names among those memorialized
The names of DeWayne Crenshaw and Ola Crum, carved in stone outside the Tippah County Sheriff’s Department, remind us of the high price “to protect and serve” can carry.
Last week was National Police Officer Week. Studies show Deep South rural law enforcement work is one of the most hazardous categories of a hazardous calling. The state of Mississippi consistently ranks among the top five states nationally in number of officers killed in line of duty, according to Law Enforcement Assault Committee statistics.
In this county, there are names behind the statistics.
It took a jury only a few hours recently to find Franklin Fitzpatrick of Pontotoc guilty in the December 2010 capital murder of Tippah County Sheriff’s Deputy DeWayne Crenshaw. With the consent of Crenshaw’s family, prosecutors waived the sentencing phase of Fitzpatrick’s trial, asking for a sentence of life without parole.
Before dawn on July 5, 1947, District 3 Constable Rufus Ola Crum was shot to death in line of duty south of Ripley.He was the father of former Ripley Police Chief and Tippah County Sheriff C.R. “Pete” Crum.
The man who triggered the shotgun blast which took Crum’s life later served time for the killing.
Crenshaw’s death remains a open emotional wound, probably never to be fully covered by scar tissue, for his widow as well as the countless others who knew him. Sadly, Crum’s sacrifice has faded from the memory of most folks in these parts.
Neither man should be forgotten, however.
Both Crenshaw’s and Crum’s names are engraved on the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial in Washington, D.C. The memorial contains the names of officers across the nation who have died in line of duty.
Most people never have to lay their lives on the line the way lawmen do, or make the sort of commitment to their work that law enforcement officers make.
The men and women who wear the badge have earned our respect, not just this week, but every week of the year.
Here’s an answer for Hillary Clinton
To answer Hillary Clinton’s question, “What difference does it make,” here’s the answer:
It makes a great deal of difference to mothers who have lost sons; to fathers who have lost sons; to wives who have lost husbands; to children who have lost fathers. Mine gave up his life in the service of his country 69 years ago in World War II after being drafted. His daughter who was born months after her father died never got to meet her father. He never got to meet his grandchildren. His great-grands have never had the privilege to know their great-grandfather. He and I gave up what might have been many years together.
Yes, it matters greatly to all those listed above and will continually to do so as long as they shall live.
Sarah Schaen Naugher
NEMS Daily Journal