2007 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Tollison
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO SALUTE AND HONOR THE MEMORY OF THE FIVE AGENTS OF THE MISSISSIPPI BUREAU OF NARCOTICS WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE LINE OF DUTY SINCE THE FIRST AGENTS WERE SWORN INTO SERVICE IN 1971.
WHEREAS, with due respect and reverence, we salute and honor the five Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics agents who lost their lives in the line of duty since the first agents were sworn into service in 1971; and
WHEREAS, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN), created by the Legislature in 1971, has the duty to provide the citizens of Mississippi with a frontline defense against the abuse and misuse of controlled substances; and
WHEREAS, the MBN is comprised of a dedicated cadre of support personnel, agents and intelligence analysts and includes a staff of approximately 200 employees strategically located throughout the state; and
WHEREAS, as the state's primary drug enforcement agency, the MBN accomplishes its mission by confiscating drugs and other contraband and by arresting suspected drug violators for prosecution, which often necessitates dangerous and life-threatening situations for the agents. The following five agents have given the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty:
· Agent Harold Lane Caldwell began his career with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics on February 1, 1977, and was assigned as an agent to the Tupelo District. On September 14, 1979, Agent Caldwell was assisting an Alcorn County Sheriff's Department Deputy on a call involving a kidnapping. Lane and the deputy attempted to arrest the subject and Lane was shot and killed during the arrest. The kidnapping victim was rescued as a result of the valor displayed by Agent Caldwell. Lane became the first agent of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics killed in the line of duty. His sacrifice will never be forgotten. Each year, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics honors Lane with an award bearing his name. The H. Lane Caldwell Award for Valor is presented to MBN agents or other employees with MBN who demonstrate exceptional heroism and valor either in or out of the line of duty. Lane was laid to rest at the Pleasant Hills Cemetery in Kossuth, Alcorn County, Mississippi;
· Agent Robert Henry McLeod was hired as an agent with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics on October 15, 1988. Hank was assigned to the Starkville District Office and began a career as a State Narcotics Officer. He was described as an aggressive, determined agent with the highest potential of advancement in law enforcement of anyone in the agency. On September 23, 1989, Hank was returning home to Columbus after working late in Winston County. His vehicle left the road and crashed, ending Hank's life. Hank was laid to rest at the Louisville Memorial Park in Winston County, Mississippi;
· Agent Spencer Glenn Beckley, Sr., became an agent with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics on February 1, 1986, and was assigned to the undercover team in Jackson. Spencer traveled across the state working undercover and developed a reputation as one of the best undercover agents in the history of the agency. On December 23, 1989, while returning from duty in Jackson, Spencer was killed in a car accident in Calhoun County. Spencer was laid to rest at the Branch Chapel Church Cemetery in Pittsboro, Calhoun County, Mississippi;
· Agent Marc Lee Whatley was hired by the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics on October 1, 1996. He began his career as a State Narcotics Officer assigned to the Meridian District Office. Marc's devotion to duty exemplified what a State Narcotics Officer should strive to become. On August 20, 1998, while conducting a narcotics investigation, Agent Marc Whatley was killed in a traffic accident in Bay Springs, Mississippi. Marc was laid to rest at Oak Hill Cemetery in Laurel, Mississippi;
· Agent Kimbrough "Kim" Sterling began his career with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics on December 8, 1992, assigned to the McComb District Office. Kim was later tasked as statewide Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program Coordinator for MBN. On March 23, 2003, at age 49, Kim suffered a massive heart attack which led to a vehicle accident in Amite County. Each year the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics honors Kim with an award bearing his name. The Kimbrough Sterling Award for Special Contract Agents is presented to an MBN Special Contract Agent who demonstrates exceptional dedication and professionalism. Agent Kim Sterling was laid to rest March 26, 2003, at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Gloster, Amite County, Mississippi; and
WHEREAS, the MBN strives to make our state a better and safer place to live, where our children are safe to walk the streets. It is an honor to recognize the service of these fallen agents and the sacrifices of their surviving families; and
WHEREAS, Agent Harold Lane Caldwell, Agent Robert Henry McLeod, Agent Spencer Glenn Beckley, Sr., Agent Marc Lee Whatley and Agent Kimbrough "Kim" Sterling, Lest We Forget:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That with due respect and reverence, we do hereby salute and honor the memory of the five agents of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics who have lost their lives in the line of duty since the inception of the agency in 1971, and express to the surviving family of these fallen agents the thanks of a grateful state for their service.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented by the Director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics to the surviving families of the agents of the MBN who have lost their lives in the line of duty at appropriate annual ceremonies held for that purpose, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.