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|At 66, Smokey White completes police academy|
Huston "Smokey" White said his friends and family thought he was a bit crazy when after retiring from Entergy following 36 years of service, the 66-year-old decided to join the Ferriday Police Department.
"I feel great and I am in great physical shape," White said. "I don't have any problems whatsoever."
Anyone with any doubts about White being able to handle the job can have those doubts eased after the Jonesville native completed 13 weeks of "basic training" at the Alexandria Police Academy, earning the Brian K. Coleman Memorial "Iron Will to Survive Award" from the academy.
White, who moved to Ferriday in 1962, was one of 30 to graduate from the academy.
"It was tough," he said. "We started out with 37. The toughest part was the running. If somebody goofed off, we had to run more. I had not run in years, but I was able to make it through it. The push-ups and sit-ups were no problem and I handled the weight room. The hand-to-hand combat was also no problem."
White graduated from the academy on May 14.
"I got home at 7:30 p.m. and went to work the next morning at 5 a.m.," he said. "Somebody asked me if I needed to take a vacation for a break after working for 36 years. I told them after basic training, this was a vacation."
White said he doesn't know the meaning of retirement.
"After I retired from Entergy I was piddling around a while, but I decided I just couldn't sit around," White said. "It's like my wife (Kathy) said, 'I'm either wide open or asleep.' And I always wanted to do this. When the opportunity presented itself I had to jump at it. I've always wanted to make a difference and always enjoyed helping people. I've never turned anybody down."
White said he has a lot of support from the community.
"I'm getting cards from all over, people congratulating me," White said. "I knew I could do it."
White said he will treat the people with respect.
"But the one thing I've noticed is that the Ferriday Police Department does not get respect they deserve," he said. "We do have a drug problem (in the community). I would like to see them make the laws tougher concerning drugs. We also have too many people around here packing guns."
White said he knows he has something to prove to the public.
"But I have something to prove to myself," he said. "I am going to be loyal to the police department and they can depend on me to uphold the law. There is no such thing as an ordinary traffic stop. I know to be careful out there."
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