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Those who keep us safe: Eric Paymon

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Photo courtesy of Vicksburg Police Department

At the ripe age of five years old, Eric Paymon made the decision to have a life long career in law enforcement.

“Ever since kindergarten I’ve just always wanted to be a police officer,” Paymon said.

Paymon explained at the end of the school year teachers would take pictures of their students and ask them what they wanted to be when they grow up then post the pictures with the child’s career ambition throughout the school. Career plans ranged from doctors, Miss America, a princess, and a football player, but for Paymon he had his career choice all mapped out.

Eighteen years passed by since that day in kindergarten, and Paymon got his first start in law enforcement when he accepted a position with animal control in 2000. It was in 2006 when he joined the Vicksburg Police Department as a patrol officer. Paymon worked his way up the ranks of the department and now holds the title of Deputy Police Chief.

“I’ve made a positive name for myself, Paymon said.

Paymon’s name is not only known throughout law enforcement, but he bridges the gap between law enforcement and the community by immersing himself onto dozens of community councils and board of directors.

“In the law enforcement field today theres so much negativity going on, and I just feel like someone has got to be seen in a positive light and do positive things not only at the police department building but expanding those positive things throughout the community,” Paymon said.

Paymon’s passion is to help people, specifically children. Paymon thrives to see children succeed into adults and become law abiding citizens.

“My prayer every morning is to be a blessing to someone,” Paymon said.

Paymon’s passion and attitude came from a late mentor, Randy Naylor. Naylor, who was a veteran of the Vicksburg Police Department, made it his mission to be a voice for the children of Vicksburg and Warren County and provide them with a listening ear and friendship.

Naylor passed away in 2013 after a battle with cancer, but Paymon says if you talk to anyone at the department that had an opportunity to work with Naylor they would tell you his legacy lives on.

“I want to have that same legacy,” Paymon said.

Naylor created the Street Ball program where police officers participate in activities with the youth in the community. The officers wear street clothes and it showcases the officers in a different light to the children.

Paymon worked with Naylor in the program, and he said to this day participants of the program, who are now young adults, still come up to him to talk.

“I love what I do in law enforcement, Paymon said, and I absolutely love serving this community.”

Copyright © 2021 Vicksburg Daily News.

Vicksburg Daily News