Longtime special citizen volunteer retires from duty


By Susan Agee

Town of Collierville

Mayor Stan Joyner recently declared Thursday, March 25, 2021 “Gerald Henson Day,” and those who know Gerald Henson will understand why.

Four years ago, the Town’s Public Information Office wrote an article about Mr. Henson’s 20 years of service with Collierville Police Department’s Special Citizen Volunteer Patrol (SCVP).

At the time, he recounted for us that he had already had a Naval career that included service in World War II, and a sales career with International Harvester.

Why not retire and relax? Henson’s answer at the time was “I don’t know how to quit.”

He was 89 years old at the time. Now, at 93, he is finally turning in his uniform. His fellow volunteers and the police officers and staff he has worked with will definitely miss him.

“Gerald was one of the original start-up members of the program; he helped pave the way for the program’s success.” said Collierville Police Lieutenant Dave Yelvington, who has worked with the SCVP for two years.    

Members of the SCVP do vacation checks on houses, traffic duty at special events, checks on homebound residents, help in the CPD office, fill in for school crossing guards, and other important tasks.

For those members of the patrol who, like Henson, have already retired from one or more careers, volunteering with the SCVP extends the purposefulness of their lives by allowing them to serve the community at large.

Yelvington said that Henson was always fun to be around, with his witty sense of humor and positive attitude. He could be counted on to come in when needed and volunteer for special events. “He served our department and town with honor, donating many hours of his time over the years,” said Yelvington. “Our department and the SCVP will miss Mr. Henson. We all wish him well.”  Mr. Henson was presented with a mayoral proclamation virtually during a recent Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting.

Chief Dale Lane joined the Mayor thanking Mr. Henson for his service. Mayor Joyner stated it well in his proclamation making March 25, 2021 “Gerald Henson Day”:

“Mr. Henson’s dedicated service to the Special Citizen Volunteer Program is worthy of recognition for supporting the Collierville Police Department to fulfill their mission to safeguard the lives and property of the people of our community with honor and integrity…due to Mr. Henson’s commitment to the program, Collierville Police Officers were able to spend more time on patrol protecting the community while also contributing to the accessibility and trust between residents and the Police Department.”

Thank you, Mr. Gerald Henson, for your years of commitment to the Collierville community!