Statue will honor local law enforcement.

September 2, 2015

sheriff2 By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — A respect for local law enforcement was the inspiration behind a statute that has been commissioned by a Ludington couple. Sandy and Terry Luxford hired a Colorado artist to design and build the statute that will be called “Helping Hands.” It will be dedicated on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015 at the Mason County Sheriff’s Office, 302 N. Delia Street.

Sandy said she and Terry got the idea when they were at a statue dedication last year at the Ludington State Park. “Terry approached the artist, Colette Pitcher, and asked her if she had ever created a law enforcement statue before,” Sandy said. “She said that she hadn’t but it was something she had always wanted to do.”

The Luxfords then approached Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole who said he really like the idea. However, Sheriff Cole said that public funds would not be able to be used. “They told me that it was taken care of,” Cole said. “The Luxfords have funded the entire project.”

Sandy said she and Terry both have a special relationship with law enforcement. Terry served many years as the dean of occupational and vocational education at West Shore Community College and started both the law enforcement and nursing programs there.

“Terry had always wanted to be a police officer,” Sandy said. “But, he had an uncle who was on a police department who talked him out of it because of the extreme trauma officers face on a regular basis.”

However, Terry also knew the importance of such careers and the value those programs would bring to West Shore and the local communities.

Sandy has been the Mason County medical examiner investigator since 1977. She is called out to almost all incidents that involve accidental or suspicious fatalities.

“I work very closely with law enforcement and have just developed a great amount of respect for what they do and also for each one of them as individuals,” Sandy said.

Sandy emphasized that while the statue depicts a law enforcement officer, it really is a dedication to all area emergency personnel and people who work in the judicial system.

“This statue is really not only about police but also about the firefighters, EMTs, medical first responders, judges, prosecutors and all those who work in support positions. This is about those who keep us safe.”

Sheriff Cole said he is honored that the Luxfords chose to commission the statue and that they chose to have it placed at the sheriff’s office.

“The folks in law enforcement and other emergency services do their jobs because they feel a calling to help others in our society,” Cole said. “Law enforcement has really taken a hit in the past year and it is great to see someone come out and show their appreciation for the hard work police do.”

Both the Luxfords and Cole credited Bill Anderson for helping with many of the logistics of the statue, including working with local officials.

The dedication ceremony will include key note speaker Terry Jungel, executive director of the Michigan Sheriff’s Association. The ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. on Sept. 11, the public is invited to attend.

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