Fite Remembered For His Dedication To Police Work - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/30/05

Fite Remembered For His Dedication To Police Work

A line of Mississippi police officers stood along the walkway leading to Dixie Baptist Church.

"Officers attention," one honor guard member barked. And just like that, nobody moved, and nobody made a sound. Grieving pall bearers then pulled a casket out of a hearse.

"We come to pay our respects to one who is called Edward Odell Fite," said Rev. Barry Armstrong.

"Present arms," the honor guard member ordered. And every officer immediately saluted.

Inside a flag draped was the body of Wiggins police officer Odell Fite. And behind it was his wife Kay, their three children, other family members, and the Wiggins police force.

"Kay, I wish you could see the people outside," Rev. Armstrong said to the officer's wife two hours later during his funeral service. "There are people along the walls. They've come to honor a fellow hero and a fellow officer."

Rev. Armstrong knew Fite when both men were in New Augusta. He shared a story about how Fite never liked the police department phrase "to serve and protect." He preferred to deter and prevent.

"He said if I take a police car and drive down the road and someone is about to engage in illegal activity and I can prevent them from following through their illegal actions, then I've prevented, deterred a crime," the reverend remembered.

Odell Fite was an avid wrestling buff. A 24 year police veteran who earned the respect and admiration of everybody he met. In fact, one of the flower arrangements surrounding his casket came from inmates at the Stone County Regional Correctional Facility.

"I don't know how many inmates around actually do that," the reverend wondered. "But that's the first time I've ever heard of that. And that says something about Odell."

Officer Fite's son wrote a poem he dedicated to a well loved man. It said, "If you stay with him for two minutes, you will realize that you don't need superpowers or a cape to be a hero. If you heard the true story apart from the lies, the number of questions will plummet to zero. You have now found out he is brave. If you didn't believe it before. He has proven himself faithful all the way to his grave. I don't know about you, but in my eyes, he is a hero."

Odell Fite was 48-years-old. He died Sunday night from two gunshots he suffered while on a domestic dispute call. The suspect in the shooting is Ronald Husband. He's in custody, charged with two counts of capital murder, for allegedly killing Fite and Wiggins officer Brandon Breland.

by Brad Kessie

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