By Deseray McKinzy

Tuesday afternoon, Debra Strickland and the Alumni of the Wanda Bateman Youth Center (WBYC) hosted a tribute to honor the late Mrs. Bateman and celebrate the birthday and life of Detective Kevin D. Collins. Bateman died over a year ago and Detective Collins was killed in the line of duty in October of 2020.

The tribute included a parade, live performances, and speakers to celebrate their lives and their legacy.

The Pine Bluff Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, Department of Corrections, Pine Bluff Fire Department, amongst others participated in the parade tribute. Local businesses and churches joined with free food, snacks, and more. The community, family, and friends uplifted one another and celebrated in the midst of sadness.

Ms. Strickland described why she hosted this event and the impact Detective Collins had at the WBYC.

An Alumni, Cortne Sykes, from the WBYC spoke about the importance of the former youth facility and the impact that both Wanda Bateman and Detective Collins had on her and her peers.