MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - In First Responders. We ride along with one of Meridian's patrol officers. We meet Officer Derek Felton. Felton is from Kemper County, but says he has found his passion for helping others in Meridian.
“You learn something new every day. That’s what I like about it, you learn something new and you get a chance to help people and be involved with the kids in the community,” Felton says.
Derek Felton has been a Meridian patrol officer for the last year and a half. Before that, Felton worked in the department of corrections for five years.
“It gives you a lot of responsibility. Sometimes it can be fun. Sometimes the tempo will be very, very fast and high paced,” Felton says.
Felton is a native of DeKalb. Playing football at Kemper County High School. He has a young child and tries his best to provide for his family.
He says, at first, they didn’t understand why he chose this career path.
“They’re proud of me. At first they were like, ‘Why do you want to want to do it? You shouldn’t do it,’ but I just had that calling to try it out,” Felton says.
Felton says burglars try to outsmart the police, but he makes it a point to be ahead of them. He says he takes pride in making sure the businesses in his district are checked regularly.
“I understand that we’ll never stop the crime, but we can try and prevent it or minimize it,” Felton says.
Felton says the community should know that police are not out to get them.
“I think some of them know that most of us are good. We’re not out to harass people and stuff like they must see on TV, Facebook or other social media,” Felton explains.
He would like to continue in his role as a first responder. He says everything he wants to do includes being there when others are in need. He enjoys a challenge and continues to remain proactive in the city of Meridian.
“Making the people feel safe. Hearing them say thank you and the smiles, the hugs. It means a lot. It makes me feel appreciated,” Felton says.
To stay up to date with our First Responders series tune in every Sunday night for Newscenter 11 at 10:00 p.m. and on Good Morning Meridian on Monday mornings.