CPSO honors heroics of deputies, staff

Published 12:16 am Saturday, August 31, 2019


FERRIDAY — Several Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies and staff received recognition at an awards ceremony Thursday evening at the Concordia Parish Community Center in Ferriday.

The event was well attended by the honorees, their families and even a few civilians who expressed gratitude for local law enforcement.

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Concordia Parish Chief Deputy David Hedrick presented the awards on behalf of the department and his father, Concordia Parish Sheriff Kenneth Hedrick.

Five deputies — including Chad Fuqua, David Washington, John Cowan, Walter Mackel and Anthony Godbold — received the CPSO Thin Blue Line Award for their heroics during a standoff July 25 at the Vidalia Meadows Apartments where Mackel was shot and injured in the line of duty.

Mackel sustained critical injuries when the bullet struck his left lung and kidney. Mackel was discharged from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson on Aug. 3.

“People say this is just a job, but it’s not,” Hedrick said to the deputies after calling them each to receive the award. “We’re family — each and every one of us, and I love each and every one of you.”

After those words, Hedrick and the five deputies embraced in a group hug followed by applause from the crowd.

Two more deputies, Justin Stevens and Johnathan Carol, were acknowledged for their heroic efforts at the scene of a fatal six-vehicle crash early Sunday morning on U.S. 84 near Frogmore Plantation.

The crash killed Cody McClung, 22, of Vidalia, after he was ejected from his motorcycle. The crash also injured another motorcyclist, Wendy Bass.

Hedrick said Carol and Stevens both helped to save Bass’ life.

“These deputies are being recognized for the measures they took that helped save the life of a motorcyclist involved,” Hedrick said. “Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Department would like for you to know that your good deeds have not gone unnoticed.”

Other honorees included 11 correctional officers at the River Correctional Facility for protecting the lives of inmates and 35 CPSO employees for their dedication to the department for 10 years or more.

“It goes without saying that this amount of service given to one organization shows both dedication and love for what it is that you do,” Hedrick said.