Kudos to the Vicksburg Benevolent Club for honoring unsung heroes

Published 7:20 pm Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tonight, the Vicksburg Benevolent Club recognizes some unsung heroes.

For 35 years, the club’s Officer of the Year Banquet recognizes the work of police officers, firefighters and paramedics, sheriff’s deputies and Mississippi Highway Patrol troopers nominated by their chiefs and department heads for their service to the community and their respective departments.

“What they look at is the work they (the officers) have performed during the year, and submit the bios and training. If there’s some specifics that need to be recognized, then we address those, club president Willie Glasper said.

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He said the idea for the banquet came from a conversation with police officers more than 35 years ago about the lack of community support and recognition for law enforcement.

“They were just talking about (how) they never get recognized for what the department does, and from that conversation, I took it to the club and asked them if we could recognize the officers of the year. I think we are the only organization that still honors first responders.

“These are the people who get out and serve and protect us, and they get very little recognition,” Glasper said.

The VHBC is a nonprofit organization that helps the needy through financial assistance, utility assistance and scholarships, and their service to the community is a good example of how Vicksburg and Warren County residents try to help their neighbors in need.

Its decision to organize a program to recognize and honor the people who put their lives on the line daily to protect our homes and families, is just another example of the club finding a need and addressing it.

And while the organization holds fundraisers during the year, the banquet is not one of them. The $10 admission for the dinner, Glasper said, pays for the meal.

“We don’t make a profit. All this is giving recognition to the first responders.”

Most of the time when we see police officers, sheriff’s deputies, firefighters and Highway Patrol troopers, they’re usually on the road either on patrol or responding to an emergency. And when we see them on the street, we don’t normally take the time to tell them “thanks.”

That’s what makes the Officer of the Year Banquet so special, and the members of the Vicksburg Benevolent Club deserve congratulations from the community for putting it on.