Former Concordia Parish Sheriff Kenneth Hedrick, who spent 50 years in law enforcement, died Jan. 7 at the age of 72.
Concordia Parish Sheriff David Hedrick, who succeeded his father as sheriff last year, said he is grateful for all the prayers and kind words.
"Just know that he loved and cared for everyone," David said. "He loved being your Sheriff in Concordia Parish. His dearest lifelong friends, he spoke of you often. The Hedrick family is forever grateful for the kindness and love shown to us and to dad over a lifetime. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."
"It's really sad," said former Concordia Parish Sheriff Randy Maxwell, who preceded Hedrick before retiring. "It is a great loss for this parish. He was an extremely compassionate man who loved the Lord, loved his family and loved this parish. He impacted a lot of people's lives and made a difference in the lives of many people. He relished his job as Sheriff."
Hedrick graduated from Monterey High School in 1967.
Hedrick started working at the Ferriday Police Department in 1969 and served as police chief from 1976-1981 before working as a Wildlife Agent for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries from 1981-2008. Hedrick was appointed by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen to a second term as Chief of Ferriday Police in 2008. He has attended more than 30 police training schools, including many in management.
"I never thought I would be in law enforcement for 50 years," Hedrick said at the time of his retirement. "I moved to Ferriday when I was 20 years old. I was going to trade school and had just gotten married. I was living in an apartment by the mayor's (Woodie Davis) house. The mayor's wife (Vera) asked me what I was planning on doing. I told her I always wanted to be a policeman. She told me she would get back in touch.
“A week later the mayor called me and asked me if I would be interested in joining the Ferriday Police Department. I told him more than anything in the world. He said report to work Tuesday. I started out as a patrolman and then spent six years as Chief of Police for Hubert Lee McGlothin. That was everything to me."
Hedrick was later hired by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries as a law enforcement officer.
"I was looking for a better retirement," he said.
Afterward, Hedrick was elected sheriff and earned a second term without opposition.
"There is a lot of public relations and I never thought I would like PR work, but I do like it," Hedrick said. "I like helping people."
Hedrick said he has also enjoyed having his son work with him as Chief Deputy.
"I don't know what I would do without David," Kenneth said.
"He's somebody I totally trust and is more familiar with a lot of things here."