Chief Willie James Preston Highway Memorial

This press release comes from the Mississippi Department of Transportation

HATTIESBURG, MISS. – The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is honored to announce that the Chief Willie James Preston Memorial Highway dedication ceremony has been scheduled for Wednesday, April 11 at 10:30 a.m. in Sumrall. The ceremony will take place at the Sumrall Community Center at 95 Center Avenue in Sumrall.

Preston was the first African American police officer in the Sumrall Police Department. He later became the first African American Chief of Police in the department as well. He served as an officer for 37 years in Sumrall. Preston died on September 24, 2017.

In attendance for the dedication ceremony will be Transportation Commissioner Tom King, Senator Joey Fillingane (District 41) and Mayor Heath Sumrall.

Senate Bill 2155, passed during the 2017 Regular Mississippi Legislative Session, designates and names the segment of Mississippi Highway 589 in Lamar County beginning at the Covington/Lamar County line and extending to the intersection of Mississippi Highway 589 and Mississippi Highway 42 is designated and shall be known as the “Police Chief Willie James Preston Memorial Highway.” MDOT will erect and maintain appropriate signs along and approaching the segment of Mississippi Highway 589.

“MDOT is honored to dedicate this section of highway as the Police Chief Willie James Preston Memorial Highway,” said King. “He spent nearly 40 years of his life protecting and serving the good people of Sumrall.”

For more information about the Chief Willie James Preston Memorial Highway dedication ceremony, contact MDOT Public Affairs at (601) 359-9777.

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