Adopt an Officer for the holidays

Published 1:00 pm Saturday, November 18, 2023

Warriors of the Badge founder Vicki Moak said she believes “the timing is right” to help law enforcement officers during the holidays.

One of the first responder organization’s board members had the idea to “Adopt an Officer” for the holidays — to provide a gift card and note of encouragement to each officer in the Brookhaven Police Department and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

“She felt it was God telling her that this is what we need to do,” Moak said. “It was perfect timing.”

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A complete list of BPD and LCSO officers (about 80 total) will be at various locations — Bank of Brookhaven, the Lincoln Baptist Association office, and various area churches. People are encouraged to pick an officer from the list and write either their own name next to the officer’s to show they have been adopted, or simply write “adopted,” if the person wishes to remain anonymous. Then the individual should purchase a gift card of their choice and put it in an envelope with a note of encouragement, and return it to the location where they chose their officer.

Cards and notes are due by Dec. 17.

“The purpose of this is to bless these officers, to let them know that they are loved, that they are cared for and that they are thought of during this time,” Moak said.

Moak said she has met no officer currently serving across Mississippi who has complained to her about their pay, but she knows many of them work multiple jobs to provide for their families. Previous officers or officer widows have told her stories similar to one another, such as, “I can remember Christmas and wondering how we were going to make it, or provide for our kids.”

“Part of this is to kind of help them through this time that they don’t feel that stress,” said Moak. “Being an officer is a calling. It is a calling. And I always knew that when my son Zach went in, but I never quite understood that it was God’s calling until he died. That was it, and he knew that he had already made his peace with God before that.”

Brookhaven Police Cpl. Zach Moak was one of two officers shot and killed in 2018 while responding to a call of “shots fired.” Patrolman James White was the other officer who was killed.

Her son Chris said Zach had talked with him after LCSO Deputy William Durr was shot and killed in 2017 answering a domestic call.

“He told Chris, ‘If I have to go that way, I’m OK and I’m ready.’ It is God’s calling to stand there and take what they take every day and stand in the gap to protect everyone else, and be willing to do that,” Moak said. “And they deserve more respect and more support than they receive.”

The plea of Adopt an Officer is stated simply on the drive’s flyer — “Share Christ’s love this holiday season by adopting a law enforcement officer as a ‘thank you’ for the great sacrifice they make each day.”

To do something more for an officer, or further information, contact Moak at 601-835-8723 or Samantha Melancon at 601-320-3711.