Phillips, Hunter protect and serve with Vicksburg Police Department

Published 4:00 am Friday, March 31, 2023

Patrol Officer Carlton Phillips of the Vicksburg Police Department used to have a job installing cable in households. Then, he started looking at law enforcement as an alternative career.

“I was getting older and I’m like, ‘Man, I can’t be crawling in attics for the rest of my life.’ I had always thought about (law enforcement) but I didn’t think I was ever good enough to do it,” he said. “But then I ended up getting the opportunity and I’ve been doing it ever since. I like helping people.”

Phillips started his career as an officer in 2018. He investigates cyber crimes for the department as well as performing investigations for the neighboring Port Gibson Police Department.

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He said that the job can be difficult, but can also be very satisfying. He particularly likes the investigation aspect of his work.

“I take a case and I’ll sit there at home and work on it,” he said. “Especially if it’s a telephone forensic case. I get to map all of this out, and find out, ‘This is where this person was.’ (I like) just getting the clues and following them to get a resolution for people.”

Officer Sharonda Hunter has been on the Vicksburg Police force since 2009.

“Law enforcement is actually a call for me; it’s a spiritual calling to help people that are less fortunate to do whatever it is that they need,” Hunter said. “(To) help them get in touch with the resources around our community that they need, point them in the right direction.”

Hunter said that even small things like providing people with those resources is rewarding.

“I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. And my thing is helping people. If I can get that closure for someone it just makes me feel a certain way when I do that,” Hunter said. “Especially when you’re able to close (the case) out and then you see that person happy. It just does something to me.”

Hunter added that law enforcement is a field she would certainly recommend to young people looking at their options. However, she added that it is something that requires commitment.

“It has to be something that they have in their heart, something that they want to do,” she said. “But the first thing that they have to do is make it up in their mind that is something that they want to do. The second thing is they have to be ready to serve.”