MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Dozens came together Saturday to show appreciation and admiration for Shelby County’s first African-American sheriff.
It was a celebration for Sheriff Floyd Bonner.
Bonner was all smiles as the other major elected representatives of Memphis and Shelby County showered him with praise.
“You know it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to start at the bottom and work your way up all the way through the ranks. From deputy sheriff of the jail division to the elected high sheriff,” D.A. General Mike Dunavant said.
"He's just a role model and he behaves in such a way that we can all look to an emulate," Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris said.
"Congratulations for this well deserved honor," Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said.
In observance of Black History Month, the Charles F. Williams Masonic Lodge #86 teamed up with the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church to honor Bonner for his historic victory in the November election.
Bonner was honored alongside his wife of 35 years, Audrey, whom he calls his rock.
"It was overwhelming, I didn't expect it. We weren't trying to be the first of anything, we just wanted to serve this community the best we know how and I certainly appreciate the citizens of Memphis Shelby County for giving me that opportunity," Bonner said.
Bonner says he has a lot of work ahead of him to make Shelby County as safe as possible.
He believes his title as first elected African American Sheriff of Shelby County means he's a role model to local children, which is something he doesn't take lightly.
“Let them see hey we have an African American Sheriff, you can do it too. Just stay on the right track, do the right things, do good in school and as a city and a county, we’re going to get there,” Bonner said.