Captain Joyce Box hanging up her badge

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Captain Joyce Box-Watkins retired Friday after 14 years with the Mineola Police Department and decades in local law enforcement.

A retirement party had been planned for the operations captain, but due to the current COVID-19 circumstances it was not held.

However, the city honored her hard work and service to the community Friday.

“The city’s going to be poorer for losing you, but we’re richer for knowing you and being able to work with you,” Mayor Kevin White said as he presented a card and gift card from the city to her. “I think it’s been the privilege of everyone here the way you stepped up. It will be missed. You will be missed. You’re irreplaceable. Someone might fill the spot, but you’re irreplaceable.”

Captain Watkins’ years in law enforcement include service with the Quitman and Alba Police Departments as well as service with the Wood County Sheriff’s Department. Much of the time during her career she has served as an investigator.

“Thank you Joyce for your outstanding service you have given to the Mineola Police Department, and I want you to know you will be missed. Enjoy your new life adventure,” City Manager Mercy Rushing said.

Police Chief Chuck Bittner said, “With  Captain Joyce Box-Watkins’ retirement the Mineola Police Department will miss a true public servant of this area for the past 30 years. 

“I would like to thank her for handling each emergency with uncompromised competence and integrity, for being steady in the storm, for using courage and compassion and providing such a meaningful service to the citizens of Mineola. She has been an unsurpassed teacher, mentor and role-model of whom all officers should strive to emulate. It is with most sincere hearts we say `thank you’ for a job done well.”