In observance of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Attorney General Jim Hood and the AG’s Bureau of Victim Assistance honored nine outstanding law enforcement officers with an award Thursday for their response to a domestic violence situation in their community.
“Domestic violence calls are some of the most dangerous calls to which our law enforcement respond,” General Hood said. “Unfortunately, domestic violence is a problem in Mississippi, and we’ve lost too many people to it—including officers. This recognition is a small way for our staff to let these deserving officers know that we appreciate their commitment to protecting our families and communities.”
The following officers, who were selected from nominations received from across the state, received an award during a luncheon with General Hood:
- Avery Farish, Ocean Springs Police Department
- Chris Ballard, Long Beach Police Department
- Jonathan Blakeney, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office
- Kevin Egan, Ocean Springs Police Department
- Kevin Johnson, Moss Point Police Department
- Mark Alison, Hancock County Sheriff’s Office
- Mike Krebs, Oceans Springs School District
- Shannon Koss, Jones County Sheriff’s Office
Additionally, an overall award was given to Captain Penny Jones of the Vicksburg Police Department. Jones received this honor after multiple nominations were submitted on her behalf, stating that her “ongoing leadership and dedication and initiative to victims has earned the respect of her peers and she has become a role model in the field of domestic violence.”
Jones, who has served at the Vicksburg Police Department for 19 years and is also a victim of domestic violence, released a moving video to raise awareness of domestic violence by informing the public of the signs and statistics of domestic violence and how to get help.
“I want to be the voice for the victims when they can’t help themselves,” Jones said. “Considering that I’ve been a victim myself, I know that there is help and that there is a way out.”
“Domestic violence affects both women and men of every race, every religion. We can’t continue to stay silent,” said Vicksburg Police Chief Milton Moore. “Domestic violence can be so easy for people to ignore, especially if it’s not happening to them. If we take a stand and work together by speaking out against domestic violence, we can help change attitudes and show that domestic violence is a crime that will not be tolerated in our society.”
Captain Penny Jones has played an intricate part in assisting victims of domestic violence as well as bringing justice to those responsible. She goes above and beyond the call of duty to make sure justice is served. The City of Vicksburg takes domestic violence crimes very seriously and will continue to support victims of domestic violence by any means.
General Hood formed the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office Domestic Violence Unit in 2006. Those who need information, advocacy and referrals to local resources may call the Bureau of Victim Assistance at 800-829-6766.
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