The Harrison County Law Enforcement Training Academy (HCLETA) presented the inaugural Visionary Award to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College President Dr. Mary S. Graham during the November Law Enforcement Academy graduation on November 4. The award was given to Graham because of her long-standing support of the academy.
“The Harrison County Law Enforcement Training Academy Visionary Award recognizes those individuals who best exemplify forward-thinking leaders who have contributed to the successes of the academy,” said Major Louis Elias, director of HCLETA. “In selecting Dr. Graham, the academy acknowledges her as an exceptional leader whose passion for education and opportunities for growth helped propel the academy to a position of prominence in Mississippi law enforcement training.”
Elias said that Graham was instrumental in bringing back the law enforcement academy to the Coast after Hurricane Katrina shut down the previous one at The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park. Since its reopening in 2010, the academy has graduated hundreds of law enforcement officers and provided them the opportunity to continue their degree program at MGCCC.
“Receiving the inaugural Visionary Award is unexpected and humbling,” said Graham. “The work that is done at the law enforcement training academy is such a vital one for our communities in South Mississippi. The academy not only provides our officers with excellent initial training but also with the continuing education they need to protect our citizens in a safe and reliable manner.”