June 4, 2010 12:47:00 PM
Local law enforcement will say goodbye to one of their own Saturday.
John Murray Thomas died on Memorial Day at the age of 75.
Murray was one of the first African-American police officers in the city of Columbus, rising through the ranks of the Columbus Police Department from patrolman to detective and, subsequently, achieved and retired with the rank of lieutenant. In 1965, he became the first African-American in the state of Mississippi to attend and graduate from the Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Academy in Pearl.
He spent 23 years with the department before continuing his service with the Lowndes County Sheriff''s Office, where he retired with the rank of captain of patrol.
In all, Thomas served in law enforcement for more than 44 years.
Thomas will be remembered Saturday at 2 p.m. at Lee Middle School with burial to follow in Union Cemetery.
In addition to his law enforcement service, Thomas served the country while stationed in Korea with the United States Army from 1956 to 1958.
Pallbearers will be members of the CPD and LCSO.
[email protected] commented at 6/6/2010 9:18:00 PM:
I have known Mr Thomas since I was a child. He was always very visible in the neighborhood. I can remember him issuing warnings to us as children that the way we were behaving at the time would lead to trouble for us in the future. By heeding to his warnings then made us better citizens today. It will not be the same coming to Columbus and not seeing him sitting on the porch. B.B. made a difference.
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