Michael Battle has been living his dream for the last 12 years, and it’s advice he wants to share with everyone.
“To be happy you have to do what you love, and you can’t do it for the pay,” said the Vicksburg Police Department officer.
Battle credits his wife of over 20 years, Rhonda, with helping him realize this.
Battle was a truck driver before he joined the VPD, and he was doing fine. However, his wife helped him understand that he deserved to be better than just ‘fine’.
He said, “She’s the one who kept telling me I should be doing something I really loved. She encouraged me to get into law enforcement even though we knew the pay wasn’t that great, and she has always supported me with doing what makes me happy.”
This is advice Battle wants to share with anyone looking to go into his line of work.
“Law enforcement is a calling. It’s in you. You have to want to help people, make a difference in others’ lives, and you can’t expect to draw the biggest check doing it. But the satisfaction you get from knowing you’ve helped somebody and made a positive impact in their life makes it all worth it.”
And Battle has indeed made a difference in the lives of countless people in our community, and we may never fully know the depths of his efforts.
The 2019 Top Cop and Officer of the Quarter recipient is DUI certified, which means he has taken many intoxicated drivers off the streets of Vicksburg, therefore preventing an unknown number of injuries and deaths.
Battle was also crucial in a large drug bust which prevented an enormous amount of illegal edibles from getting into the hands of our city’s youth.
“I enjoy being able to help everybody, but I especially like knowing I can make a difference in kids’ lives. So many kids these days are growing up without any positive male role models in their lives, and that’s very concerning to me- especially the young boys,” Battle said.
Battle is often involved in outreach that targets the younger generation. One of the most concerning parts of his job is seeing the number of kids who are raising themselves on the streets.
“They’re so vulnerable to the drugs and violence they see out there every day. I just want to do as much as I can to help end that whole cycle of crime. I try to show them that it’s possible for a young, black guy in Vicksburg to be much more than a statistic,” he said.
Battle is proof that a poor, black kid can grow up to have respect and own very nice things without turning to drugs and gangs.
On his days off, Battle can be seen driving his yellow Corvette or his beloved motorcycle with the Southside Riders Motorcycle Club. Battle (also known as Mike B) is the sergeant-of-arms with this group known not only for their beautiful bikes, but for their community service as well.
“Even when I was just a poor, black kid running the roads and hanging out, I knew I wanted to be able to make a difference – a positive difference. And with my wife’s support and a lot of hard work, I feel like maybe I am,” Battle said.
We at VDN think you’re making a lot of difference in the most positive of ways, and for that we say ‘Thank you, Mike B’.