MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - In our 118th edition of First Responders we meet Sergeant Billy Jenkins. He says being there for others is what drives him on a daily basis. We also get a firsthand glimpse into how quickly an officer’s night can go from zero to 100.
“If you don’t want to help people, this is the wrong line of work,” Jenkins says.
Sergeant Billy Jenkins has been in law enforcement since 1997.
“My grandfather was an MP in the service. He always had a love for law enforcement. I guess I kind of picked up on that,” Jenkins says.
Jenkins has worked as an officer in Decatur, Philadelphia and Union.
“We are working out of a car and are always all over,” Jenkins says.
Riding the streets of Meridian with Sergeant Jenkins allows you to see the variety of situations an officer might be placed in at a moment’s notice.
From pulling someone over for running a red light, to helping evacuate a six floor apartment building.
“You just don’t know what’s going to come the next time that radio keys up,” Jenkins says.
Jenkins was telling me how he has always wanted to help others. Those words were put into action, right in front of me, as I witnessed Jenkins and his fellow officers help the residents evacuate.
“Every one of them ran into that smoke, started getting those people out. Some couldn’t walk and the elevators were shut down. They were making the best of the situation in getting those people out and down those stairs,” Jenkins says.
The passion, the drive, the will or the want, Jenkins certainly has it when it comes to public service.
“You get so many people that think, ‘they just arrest people’ or ‘they just do this.’ Yes, we do arrest people. That’s not why we’re out here,” Jenkins says.
His brother is also a Meridian Police Officer. He says they’ve always worked well together. Jenkins says his family has been supportive, but have always wanted him to be safe. He recalls a time his father bought a police scanner.
“He turned it off probably two days after he got it. He said he couldn’t listen to it anymore. If he had listened to it, he would have been out there looking for us,” Jenkins explains. “I’ve always said I will retire from Meridian. Will I retire as soon as I can? I can’t say that I will.”
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.