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Panola Law Enforcement Memorial Highway Dedications Held in Batesville

On Monday, Northern Transportation Commissioner John Caldwell; Sen. Nicole Akins-Boyd, Panola County Sheriff Shane Phelps, local law enforcement and members of the Constable Raye Hawkins and Deputy Joe Kenneth Cosby families dedicated highways in their honor.

During the 2022 Legislative Session, Senate Bill No. 2545 was signed into law, designating a section of Mississippi Highway 35 located in Panola County, beginning at Morrow Road in Courtland, and extending approximately one mile south to Sullivant Road in Batesville, is designated and shall be known as the “Constable Raye Hawkins Memorial Highway”.

During the 2022 Legislative Session, Senate Bill No. 2546 was signed into law, designating a section of Mississippi Highway 51 located in Panola County, beginning at Thermos Drive in Batesville, and extending approximately one mile north to Viney Creek Road in Batesville, is designated and shall be known as the “Deputy Joe Kenneth Cosby Memorial Highway”.

Constable Raye Hawkins spent 30 years serving the citizens of Panola County. Raye began his law enforcement career with the Batesville Police Department in 1990. During this time he worked in the Crime Prevention Division and led the DARE Program.

In 1998, Raye ran in a special election for the District 2 Constable position, which he won. He served the citizens of Panola County as Constable until 2000, when he decided to leave the Batesville Police Department and focus all his time as Constable of Panola County.

In 2019 Raye would win his final election by doing something he had never done in all his years of running for Constable, winning all 14 of the precincts in his district.

Deputy Joe Kenneth Cosby was a lifelong citizen of Panola County and made his home in the Eureka Community Southeast of Batesville. He started his law enforcement career in 1976 with the Panola County Sheriff’s Office and served for almost 13 years until the fateful day of September 30, 1988.

On that day, Cosby was murdered by a prisoner he was transporting to court. This tragedy occurred North of Batesville on Highway 51. 


Courtesy of MDOT

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