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January 2, 1989 changed my life forever. I lost my best friend on that day. Nothing else seemed to matter. But by God's grace I survived and went on to complete my 22 year law enforcement career. Many times through the years I wished I could have shared the memories with him. He was 52 years old on the day he died. I will turn 54 on the 28th of July. It's hard to believe that I was only 30 years old when he died. Sometimes it's seems like yesterday that he died and other times it seems like it's been an eternity. On the day he died the two of us were the only officers working our rural parish. I knew something bad was wrong when I heard an unfamiliar voice come over our communication system. That person said, "I have one of your officers here. He's gasping for breath." When I got there he was on the ground outside of his patrol car. Medical personnel did there best but I new he was dead when I saw him. All I could do was go sit in my patrol car. I couldn't believe what was happening. I'll never forget the comfort I felt when my longtime boss, friend, and sheriff, L.R. Hataway came to me and said, "come on and I'll take you to the hospital." Sheriff Hataway was always more than a boss. He was like family. I was off for a few days for the funeral. I didn't want to go back to work. On my first day back, my very first call, I was dispatched to the very same house that my father had been dispatched to on 1/2/1989. He didn't make it there and I almost didn't either. That was one of the hardest things in my life that I had to do. For a long time after that I could not drive by the location where he had died. Through the years the pain has dulled but I'll never forget. Now I can go to that location without the pain that I felt 24 years ago. The memories in some strange way are comforting now. Even to this day I still have different people in the parish tell me how my father had helped them and what he meant to them. Things that I never had a clue about. But that was him. He was always ready to help anyone in need.
Morgan Lamar Briggs Jr. (ret)
Grant Parish Sheriff's Department
July 18, 2013