The 2011 Larry Lindsey Award Winner is Ralph Simmons of the Tippah County Sheriff Office.

The Larry Lindsey Award is presented every year at the annual APCO-MS Chapter conference to recognize a dispatcher for their above and beyond service to the public. This award acknowledges professional conduct, ability and overall contribution to the field of Public Safety.

Ralph Simmons has been employed with the Tippah County Sheriff Office for over 13 yrs. December 3, 2010 Ralph Simmons came to work the night shift.  As everyone that works in the Public Safety Field, you can never predict what will occur or happen.  As the night gets closer to ending Ralph receives a call about a disturbance on county road 500. Deputy Crenshaw and another deputy responded to the call at approximately 4:00am in a rural area near Ripley.

When they arrived at the scene, they encountered a male subject outside. As they approached the suspect an altercation occurred and Deputy Crenshaw was fatally shot. The suspect was arrested on scene as several back up officers, and medical personal help to apprehend Fitzpatrick.

Deputy Crenshaw was a U.S. military veteran, master sergeant who earned several Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star in Vietnam. Officer Crenshaw served as a patrol deputy for the Tippah County Sheriff Department. He had previously served as a detention officer with the agency.

Officer Dewayne Crenshaw was survived by his wife and four children. Officer Crenshaw was 62 yrs old Tour of Duty 7 years, Badge Number T-5.  Cause of death: Gunfire, Date of Incident December 3, 2010 Suspect information: Charged with capitol murder.

Since the shooting of officer Crenshaw, the Legislature has also passed what’s known as the DeWayne Crenshaw bill. It outlaws chemicals used in bath salts that can be used to get high. The man accused of shooting Crenshaw is widely believed to have been high from bath salts “IVORY” at the time of the incident.

Ralph’s dedication and professional conduct to the field of public safety, has earned him this prestigious award, to represent all the Dispatchers within our state. Loss of life within our field is the worst call a dispatcher will ever have to face. Ralph Simmons exceeded all expectations the night of December 3, 2010, so for this Ralph in behalf of all the dispatchers within the state of MS we say THANK YOU.

Help me to keep safe those who depend on me, and give me the ability to learn what I need, to remember it quickly, and give me the wisdom to use the knowledge properly. Grant that I never forget how to do ten things at once and do them all equally well. Last of all, help me to never lose sight of why I choose to do this job in the first place, to never lose sight of what is important in the midst of stressful moments. Help me to remember that I make a difference, however how small it may seem some days, and that I mattered.

“I AM A DISPATCHER, LORD GRANT ME PEACE “