Meridian, Miss. (AP) – A police ofﬁcer killed on duty in Mississippi earlier this month is being remembered there and in his Alabama hometown as a person willing to serve any community where he worked.
A memorial service was held Thursday in Meridian, Miss., for Meridian Police Ofﬁcer Kennis Croom, who was shot to death June 9 while responding to a domestic violence call in that city. He was supposed to be off work that day.
A funeral took place Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where Croom grew up. WBRC-TV reported that mourners packed the gym at Shelton State Community College.
Croom, 30, was killed while responding to a call where a woman, Brittany Jones, was shot to death. Her ﬁance, former Newton, Miss., police ofﬁcer Dante Marquez Bender, was arrested June 10 in Ackerman, Miss., about 80 miles (129 kilometers) north of Meridian.
Meridian Police Department Sgt. Tavaras Smith said ofﬁcers “worked nonstop” until they found and arrested Bender.
“It was an honor to place ofﬁcer Croom’s cuffs on that subject and assist Croom in making his ﬁnal arrest,” Smith said.
Before working in Meridian, Croom had been a law enforcement ofﬁcer in Tuscaloosa and at agencies in Mississippi. He worked at sheriff’s departments in Hinds and Lauderdale counties and police departments in Brookhaven and Jackson, the Meridian Star reported.
“Each community that he worked in, Croom took that community as if it was his own,” said Jackson Police Department Cpl. Daniel Rushing. “It didn’t matter where he landed, he always cared for the citizens.”
Croom was the father of three children.
“We’re going to truly miss him. From the smile, the jokes he made with all the ofﬁcers. But we have great lasting memories of Ofﬁcer Croom,” said Meridian Police Chief Deborah NaylorYoung.
Croom was the son of former Tuscaloosa City Clerk Tracy Croom and the Rev. Kelvin Croom, now the senior pastor at the city’s College Hill Baptist Church, the Tuscaloosa News reported. Kelvin Croom played football for the University of Alabama in the 1970s.