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To Protect and Serve… and Serve and Serve

To Protect and Serve… and Serve and Serve

A blonde baby crawls across the carpet, drawn toward his mother’s purse. He reaches, tugs on the strap and the purse spills over. Out tumble three shiny badges. They’re colorful, with bright reds and blues inlaid on silver and gold; scratched in places and rubbed shiny in others. Two are attached to their own cracked and well-worn leather holders. He picks one up, pleased with his new found treasure. His father swoops the baby up into his arms and retrieves the badge, chuckling at the boy, who is already distracted by something else. “I never know which one I may need,” Lance Luckey explains.
Luckey works as a Columbus Police Officer, Caledonia Town Marshall, Lowndes County Sheriff Deputy and as a Volunteer Firefighter. If that weren’t enough, he also is raising two kids, Abigayle, age 11 and Hunter, 10 months old, with his wife Tammy.
He works around 60 hours a week normally. Two nights a week with the Marshalls, four days a week with the Police Department, and as needed with the Lowndes County Sheriff and Volunteer Fire Department.
“I just love doing it,” he said when questioned on why he would work so many jobs in the same field. “I love helping people and just being around them. I couldn’t imagine doing something else.”
You’d never know that not many years ago he was working for Ceco Building Systems making steel doors and sheet metal roll forms.
“I was really ready to look and find something else,” he said. “I felt like it was a dead end job and not really going anywhere. I wanted to be around people and be able to move around.”
So he put in applications at the police and fire department because he thought they might be “fun jobs.”
“He just wasn’t beating up enough people,” interjected his daughter, Abigayle, with a sly smile.
When he was hired to the Columbus Police Department, he couldn’t have been more thrilled. He attended the Police Academy in Pearl and came back ready to go. “As soon as I first got started, I knew I right then that I was gonna love this,” he said. “Everyday was different and new, never the same stuff. It’s exciting to do different things everyday.”
“He’s so much happier now that he can get out and see people,” said his wife Tammy.
Luckey grew up in Humboldt, Tenn., and moved to Caledonia, where he currently lives, in 1999. He attended a Bible college in Pensacola, Fla., where he met Tammy, who is an assistant teacher at Caledonia Elementary. They attend Real Life Church in Columbus, where he serves on the security team. He has been a patrol officer for the Columbus Police Department for four years.
“My favorite thing to do at the police department is catching people who have done things to other people. You make the arrest and it makes the victim satisfied. They see you’re actually out doing your job and that you care about your job. It’s very rewarding.”
“Also, I love it when they run,” he added smiling. “I always catch them.”
“His mother is terrified of what he does,” said Tammy. “She begs him to find something else to do….. but he wouldn’t be him if he didn’t do this. He doesn’t think anything he does is dangerous or even important, its just his job to him. But he’s our hero.”
As a Caledonia Town Marshall, which he has served as for three years, he patrols the town of Caledonia and performs the basic duties of a police officer. “We don’t have near as many incidents out there as we do in Columbus,” he said.
“He does an outstanding job and is a fine individual,” said Ben Kilgore, Deputy Marshall for the Town of Caledonia. “He’s just a good officer and has a good family. She (Tammy) does what she needs to do to make his job easier. If he didn’t have the backing of a good wife, he couldn’t do what he does.”
Luckey has also been a District 1 Volunteer Firefighter for seven years. “We get all kinds of calls,” he said. “We always stay really busy.”
“He likes helping the elderly on medical calls, they’re usually pretty scared and he reassures them,” said Tammy. “There’s one lady they’ve probably been to 100 times, we call her his girlfriend.”
In Lowndes County, Luckey mostly serves warrants for the Sheriffs Department. He says it’s good to be able to make arrests in the county if he needs to.
When asked how he makes time for his family with all the hours he works, he replied simply. “We just make time for each other. I’m on call all the time with the Fire Department, we take shift breaks and eat together. We just do everything as a family. We’re never separate when I’m not at work.”
“He gets out on the trampoline and in the sprinkler all the time,” said Abigayle.
“They tell me I’m crazy,” he said. “I’ll just get down on the floor or outside and do whatever they want to do.”
“Our daughter thinks he hung the moon and our son, who isn’t even one yet, is already a daddy’s boy,” said Tammy. “They cannot wait until he gets home so they can play. He literally comes in, takes off whatever uniform he has on for the day and gets in the floor to play. He is the absolute best daddy in the world. On his occasional day off, instead of taking our son to my grandmother (she keeps him for us) Lance keeps him and they go and do whatever they want. Hunter has already been on a few fire dept calls with Lance… we’re training him early. God broke the mold when they made Lance. He is the glue that holds our family together. I honestly don’t know what we would do without him.”
When together, the family says they go swimming in the river, hang out at the park, play ball or just hang out at the house together. The only time Luckey is away is during deer season when he’s hunting.
“I can always make time for that,” he said smiling. “October through January is when we never see him,” said Tammy jokingly.
“God only knows how he pulls off all four and a family,” said Mark Spears, Chief of District 1 Volunteer Fire Department. “He’s a very down-to-earth fellow. He has a level head and you don’t have to worry about him on scene. He’s very reliable. When it comes down to dealing with the community, you couldn’t ask for no better. Community service seems to be his mission and he does it well.”
Luckey has received several commendations for his service to the community. He was awarded five Chief’s Coins, and has been named “Firefighter of the Year,” “Rookie of the Year,” and “Firefighter with the Best Attendance.”
“My Dad passed away just before we got married, but he always said. ‘That boys got grit.’” said Tammy. “’He’ll do.’ He knew Lance would take care of me.”

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11 Comments

  1. John Duke - 03/26/2012

    Can I get your autograph?

  2. Mark Spears - 03/26/2012

    This, my friends is a dedicated man. Glad I get a chance to work with him.

  3. Fred - 03/26/2012

    *Comment removed*

  4. Neighbor - 03/26/2012

    @ fred: She has scholiosis and even with a crooked spine she is 3 times the person you’ll ever be!

  5. Jackie - 03/26/2012

    This is directed to Fred. This family lives next door to me and the Lady in the striped shirt has scoliosis. She is a way better person than you’ll ever be for making that hateful and callous comment. Next time if you can’t say something nice keep your comments to yourself. These are very good and special people and the best neighbors I could ask for. To Lance…Thanks for the awesome job you do in every one of the positions! Ifeel safe and blessed that you are my neighbor.

  6. Mitch Wiggins - 03/26/2012

    An even bigger hats off to his family for supporting Lance. Thanks for all you do!

  7. Tammy - 03/27/2012

    Hi Fred. I dont know what your comment was because it was removed, but reading what my neighbors said in response to your comment I can just imagine. I honestly couldnt care less what you think of me or the way I look. I am happy with myself. I have no self image issues. I have often found that people who talk ugly about others are not happy with themselves. I will pray for you. What does bother me is the fact that you probably didnt get past the picture. The article was intended to be about my wonderful husband and the outstanding “jobs” that he does for this community. He works his rear end off everyday making sure people are safe. Even people like you.

    Yours Truley,

    Tammy Luckey (the crooked lady in picture)

  8. Charlie's angels - 03/27/2012

    Way to go Tammy!!! You have such class in a situation when most people would love to give, what seemed to be an uneducated man, a piece of our mind. You are a beautiful person inside and out!!! So glad to know you!!

  9. Michelle Thrasher William Thrasher - 03/29/2012

    I’m sure there are lots of autographs out there John on tickets and affidavits

  10. Camp owners rebuild following wildfires | brausen.com - 04/02/2012

    [...] nights a week with the Marshalls, four days a week with the Police Department, … Read more on The Columbus PacketShare and [...]

  11. Patty - 04/05/2012

    Lovely article on a lovely family! I used to work with Tammy at the school and really enjoyed the time I spent around her. She is a very beautiful young woman inside and out. I also got to talk with Lance when he came in from time to time, and it was obvious what a fine young man he is. I was so happy for them when baby Hunter came along. I wish that all children could have such a wonderful family!

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