Melvin Holmes credits his success in life to his parents, the late Alvin Holmes Sr. and Hattie Edwards Holmes. “They were my heroes.” Acting on advice from his father, Holmes says, “For my entire life, I’ve tried to give back through service to my country and my community.” His “giving back” included two tours of duty in the U.S. Army and 33 years as a City police officer. Three of those 33 years was as police chief.
Holmes grew up in Clarence and graduated from Central High School. While attending Northwestern State, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. Holmes spent three years, eight months and five days in military service that included two tours in Vietnam. After working in the auto industry for two years in Kansas City, Mo., Holmes returned to Natchitoches and began a career with the Natchitoches Police Department. He also finished his degree at NSU. He retired after three years as police chief. He has been a bailiff in the court system for nine years. He remembers advice from his mother.
“Trust in the Lord and you’ll be all right.” Holmes says, “She certainly did that and did a lot of praying since my father served in World War II and my brother and I were both in Vietnam.” Holmes and his wife, Katherine, are the parents of five children. •The Times will publish Black History profiles in every February edition.