During a stand-off, three MHP SWAT team members were put in the hospital, and MBN Agent Lee Tartt was killed. The community banded together during the tragedy, sending in their experiences and memories of his kindness. He was the kind of man who believed that anyone could change for the better, and his actions proved it every day that he was on the job.
Among the stories and emails that flooded in about the agent, and one letter in particular stirred up a lot of publicity.
Many were surprised to receive a hand-written letter from an inmate at Grenada County Jail, who wrote in about his own experiences with Mr. Tartt. He was serving time on drug charges, and no one expected the letter to be quite so touching. After all, most inmates harbor a special hatred for the men who lock them up.
I am writing this to offer a different perspective of a fallen hero and a fine man, the late MBN agent, Mr. Lee Tartt.
I am serving time for sale of cocaine. I worked as an inmate under his father, Mr. Buddy Tartt, at MDOT for 3 years. I got to know Lee during that time. One would think that a convicted drug dealer and an MBN agent wouldn’t have much common ground. This wasn’t the case because Lee took it upon himself to share with me his beliefs of his job. He told me he didn’t want to lock people up forever unless they deserved it. He told me that he hoped every person he busted would serve their time and get their lives together after being released. He said he wanted that for me. (Thank you Lee.)
I am a better person for having known Lee Tartt. If everyone in my situation had gotten the chance to know him, the world would have been a better place. God Bless the Tartt family and his law enforcement family.
Grenada County State Inmate.”
This letter proves that Tartt was an incredible man – not just another member of law enforcement. While there is still a lot that needs to be addressed and fixed before the public will be able to fully trust officers of the law again, men like Lee Tartt show that there is still hope. He is, according to Teddy McRaney, the perfect example of what the badge should always represent.
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