Concordia Parish Randy Maxwell’s service honored with retirement celebration

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, June 13, 2012

LAUREN WOOD | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Sheriff Randy Maxwell smiles as he gives his retirement speech Tuesday evening in front of a crowd gathered for the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office retirement party. Maxwell is retiring after 22 years as sheriff.

FERRIDAY — Sheriff Randy Maxwell gauged the impact he’s made on Concordia Parish by the number of people that packed into the community center in Ferriday Tuesday evening for his retirement celebration.

“I never expected this many people to be here, but I’ve always said if you have more people at your retirement party than the party they throw when you’re first hired, it’s a good sign,” Maxwell said laughing. “I get uncomfortable when I hear people saying all these nice things about me, but it was really a good feeling and it meant a lot to me.”

LAUREN WOOD | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Sheriff Randy Maxwell hugs friend and supporter Jimmie Lancaster after giving his retirement speech Tuesday during the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office retirement party at the Concordia Parish Community Center.

Friends, family and co-workers gathered to honor Maxwell and 12 other Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office employees that will officially retire at the end of this month.

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With 22 years as Concordia Parish sheriff and 44 years wearing a badge, guest speakers struggled to express their gratitude toward Maxwell in such within such a limited time.

“What can I say about someone who’s had a tremendous impact on this parish?” Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland asked. “We’re going to miss him, but it’s been an honor to work alongside him and an honor to be his friend.”

Former Tensas Parish Sheriff Jeff Britt said Maxwell’s resume spans greater than just within Concordia Parish.

“We see every day what he’s done here, but statewide,+o he also pushed for the D.A.R.E. program to teach kids the dangers of drugs and alcohol,” Britt said. “You’ve forever left your mark on this parish, and I hope everyone will realize what all you’ve done for us.”

After several stories and some shared laughter with the crowd, Maxwell took time to thank all the staff he’s had while in office.

“It takes everyone working together to be successful, because this is a huge job and a huge operation, and I couldn’t have done any of this without such a great group of people.” Maxwell said. “I know everyone says this about their office, but it’s true here — we’re a family.

“We’ve grown up together, raised kids together and all that, so when something happens to one of us, we’re all there to support each other.”

LAUREN WOOD | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Plaques for Sheriff Randy Maxwell and others retiring from the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office sit on a table before being handed out at the CPSO retirement party Tuesday evening at the Concordia Parish Community Center.

Going around the room and sharing brief stories about the old faces he saw, Maxwell stressed the importance of the community supporting the face parish residents will be seeing more of — the sheriff-elect Kenneth Hedrick.

“Everyone needs to get behind the new sheriff — be patient, be supportive and guide him just like you guided me when I was new,” Maxwell said. “He’s going to make some mistakes, just like we all do, but he needs everyone supporting him to be successful.”

And even though he will walk out of the courthouse as sheriff for the last time on June 29, Maxwell said he won’t be far.

“I’m not riding off into the sunset,” Maxwell said. “I’ll still be here for the new sheriff, everyone in the office and the people of this parish.

“It was just time to go.”

Other CPSO employees that were honored Tuesday included Franklin Banks, Judy Cooper, Dot Johnson, Travis McCoy, Charles Partridge, Bobby Sheppard, Sandy Burget, Uzella Frazier, George Loomis, Freddy Mount, Eddie Poole and Kathleen Stevens.