Hancock County first responders honored with day-long celebration

Hancock County first responders honored with day-long celebration

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - Law enforcement officers, EMT's, and other first responders were honored for their service Monday at the Bay Saint Louis Community Center with a breakfast. Dozens of emergency workers from Hancock County stopped by the celebration, which lasted all day so workers from all shifts could attend.

Among those attending was Bay St. Louis Police Chief Mike DeNardo, who joined other officials from across the coast to enjoy the special treatment.

"Our community is very supportive and this is just a little bit of the support that they give us," said DeNardo.

The idea for the celebration originated from the event's organizer Vicki Ladner.

"I think it shows how much we honor them. I think it shows how much we appreciate them," said Ladner. "I think it shows that a community can come together."

Ladner said the event was planned in less than two weeks, including getting help from the donors and sponsors for food, accommodations, and volunteers. Despite those challenges, Ladner says it all came together rather quickly.

She said she first got the idea after reading negative comments on social media directed at first responders.

"Why don't you take the negative energy that you're putting out there and let's do something positive?" she questioned. "You know, by being negative you're fueling what we don't want to happen."

Ladner says what she doesn't want to happen is the spread of hostility towards police and others in the line of duty.

Lieutenant Mac Cowand of the Waveland Police Department was happy to see all ages showing appreciation, especially the younger folks.

"They're the people we're going to be bringing up for the future," said Coward. "So the children are very important to us."

Some of the volunteers at the breakfast said this was a wonderful tribute, but they would like to see the law enforcement community appreciated every day. The event lasted through lunch Monday giving the county's first responders time to grab a bite throughout the day.

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