BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Honoring the everyday heroes that keep us safe on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and doing it with a hot meal. That's what Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers did Thursday morning.
Police officers, state troopers, sheriff's deputies, and other first responders from across South Mississippi gathered at the Golden Nugget for the organization's eighth annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Breakfast.
From hot eggs and biscuits to fruit and bacon and more, hundreds of law enforcement personnel from the area showed up to enjoy the most important meal of the day.
Biloxi Police Chief John Miller was the keynote speaker for the event, which included the chance to win plenty of door prizes.
The breakfast is hosted each year as a way to say "thank you" to South Mississippi's finest, the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect residents across the coast.
Crime Stopper's 2018 Officer of the Year is Agent Justin Strahan from the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. Strahan was recognized for his drug interdiction efforts in the six southern counties.
The winner of the federal award was Homeland Security Officer Special Agent Todd Key. The military award went to USAF Officer Justin M. Depew.
George County honored two winners from the sheriff's department, Deputy Robert Karg and Deputy Dayton Rouse. Greene County honored Chief Deputy Bradford Warrick. Hancock County's award went to sheriff's Deputy Douglas "Doc" McBride. Stone County honored Lieutenant Frederick W. Carter, and Jackson County honored Investigator Shane Bozeman both from their respective sheriff's departments.
Harrison County's award went to Gulfport Police Officer Victor Moreno. He was recognized for arresting a bank robber while off-duty.