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Celebrating women: Constance Myers, community officer

Community leader: Picayune Police Department Captain Constance Myers is the head investigator for internal affairs, domestic violence and sexual assault cases.  As a mother and grandmother, Myers always asks herself what she would do if the person involved was a child or family member of her own.  Jodi Marze | Picayune Item

Community leader: Picayune Police Department Captain Constance Myers is the head investigator for internal affairs, domestic violence and sexual assault cases. As a mother and grandmother, Myers always asks herself what she would do if the person involved was a child or family member of her own.
Jodi Marze | Picayune Item

Women’s History Month began as a national week-long celebration in 1981 that grew into a month long celebration, for the month of March, six years later.

The month is about appreciating female trailblazers, who have pioneered the social landscape and made the country a better place because of their contributions. The Presidential Proclamation for 2014 designated this year’s theme as “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment.”

Picayune Police Department Captain Constance Myers displays all of these attributes through service to her family, department and church.  While she is someone who is currently facilitating change in her community, there is little doubt that in years to come, her influence on people in this county will be both recognizable and measureable.

As a Captain in the Picayune Police Department, Myers is the lead investigator and reports directly to the chief of police in matters of internal affairs, sexual assault and domestic violence.

Working in a field that is dominated by men, Myers has earned the respect of both her coworkers and community.

Picayune Police Captain James Bolton said of Myers, “She is a very hardworking and dedicated officer. She works the types of cases that are two of the most difficult things for any officer to work with.”

Bolton has had experience working with Myers on cases involving crimes against children and said she puts her heart and soul into pursuing perpetrators and facilitating healing for the victims.

“Capt. Myers’ impact on the community is significant through her dealings with very traumatized people,” Bolton said. “She encounters people who are basically shattered emotionally and helps them receive assistance through counseling and other resources to re-enter daily life in our community feeling safer and more secure. It takes a special person to be able to do this.”

Myers, the mother of three and grandmother of one, has been with the Picayune Police Department for eight years after serving two in the police reserves. She has been married to her husband Richard for 20 years.

Her mother, Mattie Mitchell Ross, said Myers was always an independent and determined little girl.

“She always had her own mind and if she started something, she would try her best to finish it,” Ross said.  “She was always strong willed and determined. She would look out for others.”

Myers said that she has worked her way up from the bottom and there was never a question of what she wanted to do.

“I want to help and serve others,” she said. “I want to do it through my work as an investigator with the police department. I did not have the educational background in criminal justice, but I have worked my way up.”

She said working the sexual assault and domestic violence cases are the most challenging but also the most rewarding.

“It is rewarding to help someone, but painful to see what they are going through,” Myers said. “I have two daughters and a granddaughter. It plays with your psyche, but if you don’t help them, who will?”

Some of the biggest challenges she faces are the public perception that results must happen immediately and family members standing in the way of justice by protecting suspects.

Everything has a process and must be started and followed correctly to allow the proper results, which will hopefully be justice for the victim, she said. If the process is rushed and procedure not followed, then justice may not occur.

When it comes to justice for the victim, Myers said everyone needs to follow four little words.

“Do the right thing,” she said. “Children don’t ask to come here. Families don’t ask to live imprisoned by violence. We have to do the best for them. I always ask myself what if this person was my child or family member?”

Myers said people have to know when to separate the situations of   wanting what is best for their child or family and the need to act responsibly if they have done something wrong.

“We have to stop the cycle of violence— even if your loved one is the perpetrator,” Myers said. “This is the only way to stop more innocent people from being victimized and allow the healing process to begin for all parties involved.”