Officer Lerric Boyd
By Dexter McCree, Feature Writer
ST. PETERSBURG — For the past 31 years, Officer Lerric Boyd has been a public servant to the citizens of St. Pete as a police officer. For the past 11 years, he patrolled the halls of Lakewood High School, securing the safety of its students and staff.
Shortly after returning from winter break, Boyd shared his heart to Lakewood High principal and announced his retirement from duties as the head of school security and patrol of the St. Petersburg Police Department.
“We are truly going to miss Officer Boyd,” said Erin Savage, principal of Lakewood High School. “For the past five years of my time here at Lakewood, he did so many things to enhance the school. He helps with the safety plan and brought a positive attitude that was encouraging to students and staff.”
More than 100 friends, community leaders, and school personnel joined Boyd’s family, who sponsored a retirement dinner held in Lakewood High’s newly built gymnasium lobby. Many in attendance had served with him in some capacity or another in his 31-year history in law enforcement.
Boyd’s career nearly came to a halt before it got started. His mother, Elder Mary Boyd, was so against him entering such a dangerous profession that she didn’t pin him at his rookie ceremony.
However, she was front and center at his retirement ceremony. The smile and proud look on her face showed that he had met her approval in making an impact on the community.
Story after story revealed that Boyd was indeed in the right field of endeavor. Retired Police Officer Kelvin Wyatt indicated that he knew Boyd was a strong leader one summer when they were in Philadelphia with a group of boys from the Police Athletic League for a basketball tournament.
Because of inclement weather, they had to stay in Philadelphia through the weekend. He observed Boyd contact each parent and made sure every player was properly cared for, and their flights rearranged.
“That’s when I saw the real leadership in Boyd. I saw him seamlessly juggle the role of father, coach, community servant, caretaker, and negotiator all at once,” stated Wyatt. “When you have parents’ children thousands of miles from home, every decision is crucial. He handled it very well.”
John Darby, campus monitor at Lakewood High School who worked with Boyd for 10 years, told the story of the officer being the ultimate safety factor at Lakewood. One day, an intruder came on the campus, and Boyd intercepted him. A struggle ensued, and Boyd emptied his can of mace on the intruder and Darby, who was assisting in protecting the campus.
“When Officer Boyd’s hand goes in the air with a can in it, you better duck because at that point, the talking is over,” said Darby. You better follow the last instruction that he gave you because he means business.”
Boyd’s official last day on the job was Tuesday, Feb. 18. He plans on taking it easy, enjoy his grandkids, and doing some things he hadn’t done in more than 30 years.
“We’re definitely going to miss him,” said Lakewood’s Head Coach Corey Moore. “He does a great job of building bridges for our youth and adults in the community. You don’t find many men like him.”
Boyd expressed his thanks to God for giving him an uneventful career. He said his recipe for success is to treat people the way they want to be treated, with respect, noting it doesn’t matter if it’s a child or adult.
Job well done, thy good and faithful servant!
To reach Dexter McCree, email firstname.lastname@example.org