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Officer Pruitt Embodies OPD’s Devotion To Community

Officers Cody Pruitt and Tray LeSueur play soccer with Wayne Johnson neighborhood kids.

Saving lives and catching Emus are not the only talents of Oxford Police Department Corporal Cody Pruitt. He has also been seen testing out his soccer abilities while wearing a bullet-proof vest instead of shin guards.

When Pruitt was on his regular patrol on South 18th St. last week, the Wayne Johnson neighborhood kids didn’t expect Pruitt to stop in, much less join the game.

“I grew up playing soccer. I played in high school and college,” Pruitt said. “When they invited me in, I decided I was going to show them what I had… if I had anything left.”

Pruitt admits he played fairly well with the neighborhood kids, especially for someone in combat boots.

“It was probably more comical to watch than it was entertaining,” Pruitt said.

Pruitt has worked nearly two years in the Public Housing Division of the Oxford Police Department, under the leadership of Captain Alan Ivy.

Pruitt said through motivation and support, Ivy has greatly encouraged the housing division officers to be a positive influence in the Oxford community.

“It’s nothing that I do alone,” Pruitt said. “All of us get out and do as much as we can within the community. It’s the Oxford Police Department’s goal to be community-oriented.”

Ivy said the division has always been heavily involved in the neighborhoods for which they are responsible. However, he is happy with how much further the division has taken its involvement recently.

“I’m very proud of the division led by Corporal Pruitt,” Ivy said. “About two years ago, we expanded to city-wide community outreach. The division has become a main cog in that effort.”

Officers Shawn Parrish, Cody Pruitt and Brett Williams at Wet Wednesday during Camp COPS.

Ivy said the housing division is a “go-to group” for community outreach. In fact, they recently completed Camp COPS, which was a four-week camp for kids based on law enforcement principals and training.

As director of the camp, Pruitt said his passion is to help mold the paths of Oxford’s children.

“A lot of people in the community really helped guide the path that I’ve taken,” Pruitt said. “So, I really want to give back to the community, especially for the younger kids and generations. I try to do a lot with kids, to just try to move them or put them on a positive path for life.”

When Pruitt sees a group of kids outside while on patrol, he stops to find out what they’re doing and becomes involved.

He never knows what to expect, but that doesn’t stop him.

One day, he was on his way to a neighborhood called Willow Knoll when he passed by the Oxford Skate Park.

“I saw a group of, probably, 20 people out in the grass, and they were all wearing capes,” Pruitt said. “They had capes and foam swords and shields, and I was like, ‘What in the world is this?’”

Pruitt pulls over and is handed his own foam sword.

“They told me they were LARPing,” Pruitt said.

Dressed as knights and wizards, the skate park kids were performing live action role-play (LARP).

“I played with them for a few minutes. That was probably the weirdest or craziest thing I’ve done while in uniform,” Pruitt said.

While OPD officers may be testing out their combat boots on the soccer field or, occasionally, running around in capes with foam swords, they protect their beloved Oxonians. Every day, officers wear their imaginary capes around this community as the true superheroes of Oxford.

The Public Housing Division will also be heavily involved in the Oxford Police Department’s upcoming fun day on Sept. 3 and the haunted house from Oct. 20 to Oct. 23.

Randall Haley is the social media editor and a staff writer for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at randall.haley@hottytoddy.com.

Follow HottyToddy.com on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat @hottytoddynews. Like its Facebook page: If You Love Oxford and Ole Miss…

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