Couple wed at police department

Published 11:10 am Monday, November 9, 2015

Not too many marriages start off at the police department but that didn’t stop one couple from uniting in marriage at the very place many try to avoid.

Vicksburg Patrol Officer James Williams wed Alice Futrell Williams at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, in the courtroom at the Vicksburg Police Department.

“We’ve been dating now for almost two and a half years,” James said. “It was time. That woman is the love of my life.”

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Vicksburg Police Captain Sandra Williams said this was the first wedding she has been aware of that has taken place at the VPD.

James Williams was passing Sandra Williams in the parking lot of the VPD last week when he told her of his upcoming nuptials and asked her to stop by if she had the time. He told her he had wanted to marry Alice for some time.

Sandra Williams wanted to do everything she could to make the day special for the couple and asked staff and officers to attend the wedding in uniform.

“I did not realize I was going to have everybody here,” James Williams said. “I thought it was just going to be a little private ceremony. I didn’t realize I was going to have that many officers here, but I love my officer family too. They all mean the world to me.  We take care of each other here.”

A nice crowd showed up to fill a couple pews as the wedding march played from a cell phone while the bride made her way to her groom with flowers in hand.

“It really meant a lot for them to show up,” James said.

James and Alice decided a small wedding was best for them and having it at the VPD seemed to be a natural choice.

“I have 10 brothers and sisters, 32 nieces and nephews, and I’m really, really shy so I wanted to do it private,” Alice said adding she is the baby girl of the Futrell Family Logging Company in Colfax, La. The thought of standing before the large crowd of family was enough to have her choose the smaller scale wedding.

Municipal Judge Toni Terrett was asked to officiate the ceremony because of the friendship she has established with the couple.

“I was caught off guard,” Terrett said. “I was surprised, but I felt very honored that they were thinking of me to have me do something this important.”

This was the first wedding she has ever presided over.

“I really never thought about it,” Terrett said. “There were so many criminal cases, I never thought about this side of my job.”

Friday’s ceremony was more than a wedding; a family of six was created. Charma Chelette, 12, Zyanna Chelette, 7 and Blayton Chelette, 10, all of Colfax, La., got a new sister in Autumn Williams, 11.

Alice has ties in law enforcement having once worked as a corrections officer in Grant Parish, Louisiana, and she was also once a volunteer firefighter.

James has only been in Vicksburg for two years having spent the bulk of his career in Arkansas, but his roots in this city run deep. His uncle is currently a Warren County Deputy Sheriff, and his father was a Vicksburg Police Officer in the ‘70s and ‘80s. James was born and raised here in Vicksburg and has made his way back home.

“I loved it up there, but being home, that’s better,” James said.

James has been an officer for almost eight years and he said he loves what he does.