Biloxi police officer helps visitors caught in parade traffic

Biloxi police officer helps visitors caught in parade traffic

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Biloxi residents know that Mardi Gras brings a lot of people downtown, so many just avoid the area during parades.

For out-of-towners who head to the Gulf Coast during Mardi Gras season, roads become difficult to maneuver.

Grace Namwamba and a co-worker arrived in Biloxi on Tuesday for an education conference. When their taxi couldn't get them to Beau Rivage, the two opted to get out and walk.

Enter Officer Ashleigh Pack.

"They started to unload their luggage and they had quite a few large suitcases. Both the ladies had heavy jackets on telling me they weren't from here, considering it was in the 70s," said Pack.

"She just came over, and at first we thought maybe we shouldn't be here," said Namwamba. "But she had a big smile and said hey ladies, my cruiser will be a bit of a squeeze but I think I can help you get to the hotel."

Pack realized she could get the women to the hotel before the parade reached her position on Caillavet street.

Namwamba, the daughter of a police inspector in Kenya, says officer Pack's offer of assistance reminded her of her childhood around police.

"I just said this is an angel," Namwamba said. "This is a god send. We just could not believe it."

It was the perfect way to introduce Namwamba and her co-worker to South Mississippi.

"One of the best experiences probably in my 26 years of living in the United States," said Namwamba. "I've never felt so welcomed in a place. She did not know us. She didn't have to do anything for us but it was so natural."

For Pack, it's all part of why she became an officer.

"I believe that's what we, most of us get into this profession to do," Pack said. "Obviously we have to deal with the typical things we have to deal with on a daily basis but I think one of the best things about this job is being able to meet new people, especially in a positive aspect. Just connect with the people in our community whether they're here to live or to visit."

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