LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - In our 153rd First Responder segment, we ride along with a newer member of the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department. Deputy Sam Upchurch might be new to the green uniform, but not to law enforcement.
“I guess every child growing up, at some point, wants to be a firefighter or a police officer. I just never grew out of it,” Upchurch says.
Deputy Sam Upchurch has served the people of East Mississippi and West Alabama in just about every capacity when it comes to helping others.
“I started at the Sumter County Sheriff’s Department, then worked at the Cuba Police Department,” Upchurch says.
Upchurch eventually made his way to Meridian where he joined the Meridian Police Department. After some time patrolling the streets, he decided he wanted to reach out further to those in the community.
“I got out of law enforcement to go to paramedic school. I worked at Metro Ambulance as an EMT and paramedic. I went to nursing school here in Meridian. I am a double graduate of MCC,” Upchurch says.
After spending several years in working as a nurse, Upchurch says he got the itch to get back into law enforcement. Since July of 2019 he has been at the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department.
“Once you get it into your system, it’s really hard to get it out. I take a lot of pleasure in helping others. I think I’m pretty good at it. Helping others, for me, is just a calling,” Upchurch says.
Upchurch’s family support goes a long way.
“They are always there to remind me of why I got into this business and without my family I would not be able to do this,” Upchurch says.
For younger people wanting to follow a career path in law enforcement, Upchurch has three things he’d like them to follow.
“One is to stay active because we need fit young officers. Two is to study hard and stay in school because they need to be smart. Three, do what your parents and teachers say because you have to be well-behaved,” Upchurch explains.
Upchurch says he is in it for the long-haul. He loves the community and helping others will continue to be a cherished passion of his
“We are all one community and we are doing the best that we can to keep this community the way people want it. We try and keep this community safe,” Upchurch 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