BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Friday morning, the Biloxi Police Department held its first quarter awards ceremony. This ceremony is held twice a year to recognize the hard work Biloxi officers and citizens put in to serve the people of their community.
Even with emotions still running high following the killings of two officers in Hattiesburg, law enforcers continue to wear their badges with pride.
Service over self is the way many law enforcement officers describe their job, and Friday was their chance to get recognized for what they do to protect those in the city.
"This is always a big day for us. It gives us a chance to recognize not only some of our officers, but some of the members of our community for the wonderful things they do," Maj. Jim Adamo said.
Police Chief John Miller said these officers may not want to be recognized, but they deserve to be for what they do every day when they suit up in uniform.
"This is an age old profession," Miller said. "It's probably the oldest apprenticeship program out there. You know, this badge means something. Officers need to be proud of it, and we want our citizens and our public to be proud of us."
Among those receiving awards and certificates was Officer April Thompson. She was one of two officers named for the quarter.
Although many women aren't seen wearing her uniform, she knows she's not alone when it comes to doing her job to protect and serve.
"We're all a big family. I have 200 brothers behind me. It's great. We have a lot of support. I would never fail, and they wouldn't allow," Thompson said.
Thompson's daughter, Katie Frederick, says she couldn't be more proud of her mom's everyday heroism.
"It's awesome, but I'm not exactly surprised, because she's extremely dedicated to her job. I'm really proud of her getting recognized the way that she did," Frederick said.
Even while many continue to mourn the loss of two Hattiesburg officers, Biloxi's mayor-elect, FoFo Gilich, says he's happy to be a part of a city with such a rich tradition of service.
"For the most part, for greater than the most part, they do the right thing. And we'll do our part to make sure they feel appreciated, and we'll back them up when it's time to move forward," Gilich said.
Other awards received were for civilian of the quarter, reserve officer of the quarter and citizen of the quarter. The family of retired and deceased Biloxi Reserve Maj. Thomas Townsend was also given a special recognition.