LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -No one realized at first that Mary Williams is making history, as the first African American female to serve as a Ward 3 Lake Charles deputy marshal in the field. But Marshal Vic Salvador says that’s not why he hired her. He worked closely with her in connection with a church food pantry.
“I really like and respect her, how she treats people, how she deals with the community. I learned she had previously worked in law enforcement, worked in the federal system,” said Salvador.
Williams' dream was never to achieve an African American first as such. Hers is to serve others.
“I absolutely think that’s what I was born and put here for. I’m a servant to always think about other people before I think about myself,” said Williams.
When a marshal approaches the door it's not usually welcome news, but Williams sees it as an opportunity to educate and offer help.
“People that may be dealing with homeless issues, somebody might be dealing with some family issues or what have you. So, I get to know people’s struggles. And I can actually link them to resources,” she said.
Salvador says they are fortunate to have Williams as a deputy marshal.
“She exemplifies what a law enforcement officer should represent. She’s as nice as can be but also can enforce the law,” said Salvador.
And so, Williams walks a walk unheard of in Dr. King’s day, wearing a smile that speaks confidence and hope to others.
“Always looking to go the next level and see what I can do to change someone’s life. What can I do to make something better for someone,” she said.
Williams who has served in the military and local law enforcement encourages those still young.
“A girl can be and do anything. The sky’s the limit!” she said.
Williams says life is full of opportunities.
The Ward 3 Lake Charles city marshal also provides security for City Court and enforces city, parish and state laws.
Deputy marshals also assist other law enforcement agencies when needed.