Recovering officer glad to be back at work

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 14, 2005

VIDALIA &8212; Rickey Hollins isn&8217;t used to sitting around doing nothing, but he hasn&8217;t had much choice lately.

A bullet, fired accidentally when another officer was cleaning his gun, tore through Hollins&8217; left leg, breaking a bone and leaving him in a cast and wheelchair for the past 12 weeks.

Today he&8217;ll head back to work with the Ferriday Police Department, doing some desk work until the cast can be removed for good Nov. 15.

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Usually Hollins doesn&8217;t have a chance to sit still. He works at the Vidalia Police Department, Ferriday Police Department and Concordia Parish Sheriff&8217;s Office. And on his off days, he serves as Constable for District 2.

&8220;The first Monday it was hard (not going to work),&8221; Hollins said. &8220;I thought they would have to put me in an elderly home or something. I can&8217;t just sit around like this.&8221;

And it hasn&8217;t gotten too much better. He still can&8217;t stand to sit still doing nothing. But if he hasn&8217;t had the kind of activity he&8217;s used to, the concern he&8217;s received from the community has helped a little.

The calls from city and law enforcement officials, friends and relatives hardly stop, Hollins said. Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland, Ferriday Mayor Gene Allen and Maxwell have all called repeatedly to check on him.

That&8217;s what comes from having served 21 years with Vidalia&8217;s police department, 18 for Ferriday and eight years with the sheriff&8217;s office. He&8217;s in his second term as a constable.

&8220;He&8217;s been around a long time,&8221; Maxwell said. &8220;Everybody in the law enforcement community and the community in general knows Rickey. You develop special bonds with people in this job.&8221;

Ferriday police Capt. Richard Madison said Hollins is a valuable man to have around at the department.

&8220;Big Rick is good for the younger guys,&8221; Madison said. &8220;We need him in here to show them how the job should be done.&8221;

In the meantime, boredom has probably been Hollins&8217; greatest enemy. Hollins spends most of his time at his mother&8217;s house, watching workmen constructing the house he, his wife and his son will move into in a couple months. His house will be nextdoor to his mother&8217;s.

&8220;They tell me we can probably move in by Christmas,&8221; Hollins said.

Hollins&8217; mother Elnora said it&8217;s been nice to have her son around so much, even if she does worry about how he&8217;s doing.

&8220;I didn&8217;t want to see him this way,&8221; Elnora said. &8220;He&8217;s bored to death but he doesn&8217;t want to let anyone know. He&8217;s trying to hold up right now.&8221;

But his friends across the parish have been working to help him out while he&8217;s laid up.

&8220;(Vidalia) Mayor (Hyram) Copeland and the sheriff both told me if I needed to go anywhere they would send a ride down,&8221; Hollins said.

Maxwell said he&8217;s happy to see Hollins ready to get back to work.

&8220;I&8217;m glad he&8217;s back on his feet,&8221; Maxwell said. &8220;No matter what safety measures you have, accidents do happen. I&8217;m just glad no one else was hurt and that he wasn&8217;t hurt any worse.&8221;