Markisha Starks understands the importance of justice. She waited two years before she got justice after her stepfather was murdered.
Now she intends to help others receive justice, safety and protection as she joins the Yazoo City Police Department.
“I just want people to realize that cops are not bad; not most of them,” Starks said. “They can depend on us here in Yazoo City. And I want to live up to that as an officer.”
A Holmes County native, Starks completed her training at the state police academy in Pearl last March. Serving on the local police force since last December, she is excited to use her training as she begins working the night shift.
When Starks was younger, she intended to pursue a career in psychology. But a tragic death in her family changed her path. Her stepfather Charles Earl Solomon was murdered.
“My stepfather did not receive justice right away,” Starks said. “His killer walked the streets, untouched, for two full years. I didn’t want other people to feel the way I felt during that time. I did not want anyone else to go through something like that, not receiving justice quickly. That inspired me to pursue this career.”
It took some time before Starks got serious about the criminal justice field. The pain of losing her stepfather lingered long after his killer was apprehended.
“My stepfather was the father I never had,” Starks said. “He took me in as his daughter. He treated me no different from my two other brothers. His murder hit me hard.”
But Starks, 25, eventually took the first steps in becoming a police officer. Today, she stands with her team on the force.
“I don’t like this career; I love it,” she said with a smile. “I enjoy helping other people and protecting them. Being an officer can give them hope that they can depend on us.”
“Haven’t really had any,” Starks replied. “We work together as a team here so that helps. When you call, we come.”
Starks hopes that she can use her career as an officer to inspire younger teenagers and children, particularly young females.
“There are so many young females who are lost,” she said. “They feel there is no way out other than the streets. That goes for young men too. I may not be able to save everybody, but I can try.”
Along with the support of her grandmother Linda Mitchell, Starks said she is excited to see what the future will hold for her as she puts on her badge daily.
She intends to honor the memory of her stepfather by protecting others and helping the community…and serving justice one day at a time.