By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The 2019 recipient from the Millington Police Department was Detective Cortney Booker. The 30-year-old was truly honored and grateful for the Exchange Club’s award. It was an award she shared in spirit with her late father Jerry.
“It felt good to receive that honor,” Booker said. “It makes you feel proud. But this is the type of work you’re really not looking for praise. It makes you feel appreciated.
“My dad was a Memphis Police Officer,” she added. “He actually died when I was 9 in a car accident. In a way my career pays tribute to my dad.”
Before entering law enforcement nearly a decade ago, Booker tried another profession. Until she joined the Oakland Police Department, Booker was missing something in her professional life.
“I tried to go into the medical profession and do that type of thing,” she recalled. “But I didn’t like the needle thing. My mom didn’t want me to go into law enforcement. Finally when the medical stuff fell through I was like, ‘I have to give law enforcement a try.’”
The Munford native, who now resides in Millington, joined the Millington Police Department on May 2, 2014. She has worked her way up to detective and found her professional calling.
In addition, she serves as a role model to little girls including her 6-year-old daughter Ella. While establishing her career, Booker said her most important job is being mom.
“I guess I hope she’s proud of me,” Booker said of Ella. “But most of all I hope she always knows I love her. I really don’t try to bring her into the job.”
Her job connects her with the rest of the family, her colleagues, community and the memory of her father.
“My siblings, also my dad’s kids, tell how proud he was to do his job,” she said. “How much he loved it. I can feel that too. I share this award with his legacy.
“There’s a lot of trust involved,” Booker concluded. “You’ve got to trust the people you work with. You’ve got to trust yourself and especially the training. (Sgt. Bryan) Childress gives us good training. I just want to say to the Exchange Club, thank you and I really do appreciate it.”