Captain Philip Hemphill, Mississippi Highway Patrol
The National Rifle Association has announced the selection of Captain Philip Hemphill of the Mississippi Highway Patrol as its 2007 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Captain Hemphill boasts an impressive record of dedication to firearm training and marksmanship as well as a legacy as a nine-time winner of the National Police Shooting Championships (NPSC).
The NPSC matches consistently draw the world's top police marksmen, and while Captain Hemphill exudes modesty, his skill is unmatched among fellow competitors. Captain Hemphill holds the distinct honor of being the first police officer to win both the NPSC and the police title at NRA's National Matches at Camp Perry in conventional pistol. His 16 years of conducting firearm training for his fellow officers have earned Captain Hemphill the reputation of being a patient and approachable mentor who is able to transfer his knowledge of life-saving firearm skills to the officers in Mississippi.
Captain Hemphill has long acted as an ambassador of the NRA to his fellow law enforcement officers, citing the credibility the NRA lends to the field. "If you go to John Doe's Shooting School and then train your people, and one of your officers is involved in a shooting, they'll subpoena the shooting records," Hemphill said. "They will have to establish your credibility. With the NRA you don't have to establish your credibility. It's been established."
Commenting on Captain Hemphill's qualifications, John C. Sigler, NRA President and a retired Delaware police captain, said, "In addition to Philip's accomplishments within the realm of police firearms training and competition, he has been a positive role model for younger officers. His service to the cause of freedom and his dedication to the preservation and defense of the rights of all law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms sets an example for all to follow."
Noting that competition is an extension of training which translates into life-saving skills, Sigler believes that Captain Hemphill represents a legacy not only in the world of competitive shooting, but also in the education of our nation's future law enforcement officers.