GEORGE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Tuesday marks two weeks since George County Sheriff Deputy John Street died in a car accident while responding to a call.
"I ask God every day," Sheriff Howell said before stopping himself. He couldn't finish his sentence, and tears filled his eyes. The sheriff is one of many law enforcement officers still trying to come to grips with the loss of one of his own.
"Everybody looked up to him because they say this guy is so young, he acts so mature, so professional," Sheriff Howell said. "You don't understand why bad things happen to good people. It's just, I guess we will know one day."
During this time of sorrow and sadness, the sheriff said the outpouring of support has provided them much comfort.
"It's kind of overwhelming," Sheriff Howell said.
More than 100 cards, poems and other mementos have arrived from all over - Missouri, Michigan, even as far away as Spain and Canada.
"When one agency loses one the other ones kind of gather around. It's just like a brotherhood and we all try to pull together to help out in a time of loss," Sheriff Howell said.
Men and women from the Jackson County Sheriff's Department and Alcohol and Beverage Control volunteered their days off to cover shifts at the Sheriff's Department and Lucedale Police Department so Street's fellow officers could have time to grieve and attend his funeral. The Gulfport Police Department helped take care of the funeral. Many other agencies and the community have reached out as well.
"Us grieving at that time we just had a great sense of gratitude for the help that they showed us," Sheriff Howell said.
It is that support the sheriff said and the love for their community that has allowed his officers to continue putting on the uniform to serve and protect.
"We love this county, we love the people, and we are out here to help the people the best way we can. And we just," tears in his eyes Sheriff Howell paused for a minute. "This is a dangerous profession. We go out on domestic calls, just like answering a call for an accident, you never know when things are going to go bad, and it's tough, it's tough."
The sheriff's department has set up a post office box for Deputy Street's widow and two young children for anyone who wishes to send their condolences or donate to the family. The address is:
Donielle Trees Street
P.O. Box 2448
The George County Sheriff's Department will also deliver any mail they get to Mrs. Street.