PANOLA COUNTY: Sheriff Lake's Quarterly Report
Sheriff’s Quarterly Report
Another year has come and gone. As we enter into 2021, we can reflect back on 2020 and we’ve
experienced good and bad things in our lives, as we’ve been clouded by a world-wide pandemic.
However, we should be thankful for the blessings sent our way, and not have our vison blinded
by only the bad things we’ve experienced. Many people have experienced tragedy during the
past year, and those memories will remain for a lifetime, but we all have things to also be
thankful for. Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to them
that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
When we experience tragedy or hard times in our lives, there are learning experiences we can
build upon, as well as good that can come from our experiences if we exercise faith and trust in
the Lord. His Word is truth, and His Love is never ending. Now we can look ahead to the coming
year and place our focus on what good we can do for one another, for our communities and for
our country. When we focus more on what we can do for others, we tend to focus less on our
When we think of the coming of a New Year, we tend to think of New Year’s resolutions. Do
you set New Year’s resolutions, and if so, do you follow through? I’ve never been much on New
Year’s resolutions, but I do contemplate on areas of my life I can improve upon, and set goals for
myself. Some I accomplish, some not so much. I find it easier to just set small goals for myself
instead of huge, unrealistic challenges or resolutions. If we can focus on several small goals, all
leading to a big change, I believe we can excel more as we celebrate the small victories along the
way. If you do make New Year’s resolutions, I pray that they are focused on what’s best for you
and that you succeed in your endeavors.
The New Year also faces us with new challenges in law Enforcement. As times change, as
people change, as morals and standards change, so do the rules and laws we are tasked to obey
and enforce. Like them or not, we’re faced with them. At the Panola County Sheriff’s Office,
we’re always busy training our staff to be the most professional, knowledgeable, courteous
servants possible. I solicit your prayers and support for all of our local, state and federal law
enforcement officials in this coming year. As with any public occupation, we face many “arm-
chair” critics who are quick to say what we “should have” or “should not have” done in any
particular situation. In law enforcement we have a saying that we make split second decisions
that others have years to critique. Our officers are not perfect, but I can guarantee they have your
best interest in mind and strive to do the best they can. I have said many times to our officers that
we must serve “from the heart” and not just “by the books.” Law enforcement has never been an
easy job, but it is becoming more difficult and less appreciated as the times unfortunately
change. Law enforcement in general has taken such a punch in the nose throughout this country.
We (law enforcement) are blessed in our area with outstanding support from our community, and
officers who love this community and the people we serve. I am most humbled and gracious for
that. Without a doubt, our officers serve in the best place in the world!
I’ll leave you with this thought from Theodore Roosevelt titled “Dare Greatly” that I recently
shared with my staff about what it means to serve “with heart.”
“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or
where the doer of the deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is
actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the duct and sweat and blood; who strives
valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great
devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of
the high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least while daring greatly; so that his place
shall neither be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.”
Paris Sorbonne, 1910
It is my prayer that you all have a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.
May you all “Dare Greatly” in whatever you set your eyes on, and most importantly, give God
the glory in it all!
Until next time, take care and may God bless you!
Sheriff Kevin Lake