With so much negativity still brewing toward law enforcement officers, the Kennett Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 5443, honored the Dunklin County Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday night at their monthly meeting.

Sheriff Bob Holder and a group of his deputies were treated to a great meal that consisted of deep fried cat fish, french fries, some delicious hush puppies, and slaw, along with cake for dessert. After the meal, Post Commander Phillip Greenway thanked the DCSD for their service and what they do for the citizens of Dunklin County.

“What I hear about the sheriff’s department is mainly good,” said Greenway. “Dunklin County has had a long line of very unique sheriff’s starting out with Raymond Scott; he was very unique and kept order in the community. Jim Elliott was a special person; Tom Crunk was a very unique sheriff with some unique ideas, and he was a very good VFW member.” Greenway said that he had always remembered a strong sheriff in the DCSD, like there is now.

Greenway followed up by explaining how they obtained the flat-head catfish that was served to the department. “They were donated. A gentleman called me at home and said, ‘I understand that you are going to have the sheriff’s department out at the VFW next Tuesday,'” said Greenway. “I told him we were, and I told him that the law enforcement have been taking some hard hits here lately, and we wanted to recognize the Mo. Highway Patrol, the sheriff’s department and Kennett Police Department.” The gentleman then said that he wanted to donate the catfish. “He said that Bob had always been good to him, and that Bob always listened to him when he had a concern,” said Greenway. “The gentleman said that Bob would talk to him right, so he wanted to donate some fish, but he didn’t want anyone to know it.” Then, Greenway turned to the sheriff and deputies and said, “Your good works do not go unnoticed by the community. That’s pretty good when a person tries to participate in an event for the sheriff’s department because of those good works.”

At that time, Greenway asked Andrew Conley, the youngest deputy on the sheriff’s department, to come forward, along with Holder. Greenway proceeded to hand Conley a special VFW challenge coin and explained its significance. “I challenge you to carry on the traditions of the other senior officers,” Greenway said. “When you have a proud and long history with the Dunklin County Sheriff’s Department, it is a large responsibility to maintain it, and only with your personal involvement and individual commitment will that standard be maintained.”

He then proceeded to give a framed Americanism Award to the DCSD that read, The Sheriff’s Department has distinguished itself as a professional law enforcement organization. Your devotion to duty, superior knowledge of our community, not only resulted in high standards, but also inspired those whom come in contact with you. Your dedication to duty and professionalism serve as an example for others to follow and brings credit to law enforcement, Dunklin County, and the State of Missouri. In recognition of Excellence in promoting Americanism and the patriotic principles of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Following that presentation, Greenway turned to Holder and awarded him, personally, with a letter from the VFW. “Anyone who has lived in this area knows Bob and his good works for over forty years,” Greenway praised. “If you go out to the nursing home or if you go to the hospital on Saturday or Sunday, you will see Bob Holder come by. He doesn’t do that because he is the sheriff, he does it because his momma and daddy raised him right.” Greenway then presented Holder with framed letter of appreciation from the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Greenway read the letter to those attending: It is with great pleasure that we convey our sincere appreciation for your efforts regarding being the Sheriff of Dunklin County. Comments received from citizens of Dunklin County were very complimentary and confirmed our thoughts pertaining to the professional manner in which law enforcement is planned and carried out. We know that it takes long, hard hours of work and considerable personal sacrifice to correlate the myriad details necessary to ensure the success of fair justice. Your display of exceptional skill and resourcefulness in coordinating law enforcement are noteworthy. Your dependability, initiative, and talent to surmount difficulties in your path enliven those who come in contact with you. Your constant dedication and ability to complete tasks in a superior manner is a direct reflection of the respect and support you receive from subordinates and citizens alike. In addition to your regular duties, you have maintained a special relationship with Dunklin County citizens, which are in the hospital and in nursing homes, for over forty years. Sheriff Holder’s thoughtfulness, concern and compassion for all of us are what he is and will be known for. We applaud your accomplishments and extend to you our personal best wishes.

Afterward, Greenway once more thanked the DCSD sheriff and his deputies for their service to the community. The sheriff responded by addressing the VFW members. “Kennett and this community have been very good to me,” said Holder, and pointing to those sitting in the room, he added, “These are the young ladies and men that make my job a lot easier.” He then asked those in attendance to introduce themselves starting with Chief Deputy Wallace Poynor, who has also been with the force for a long time, and continuing with deputies Pam Buchanan, Andrew Conley, Joey Philpot, Aaron Waynick, and Darren Dixon. “I’m very proud of the group that I have because they make my job a lot easier,” said Holder. “They are out there, and they are dedicated. Right now, this is not a good time to be a police officer, but these guys and girls go out each and every night, and they take care of business that needs to be taken care of. I am extremely proud of them; they are the ones that make the department, not me. “These are the people who are actually taking care of things in the community, and I am extremely proud of them,” said Holder. “I would like to thank you (VFW) for having us here for this meal, and it was great to associate with those who have been protecting out country. We just need to keep all of our military personnel, law enforcement, and first responders in prayer. We thank you for having us, and we sincerely appreciate it.”