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DeSoto County Remembers Its Slain Police Officers

By Sandra Knispel | Published 06 May 2012 09:33pm | comments
Every year, DeSoto County remembers its eight police officers, killed in the line of duty since 1912, releasing a white dove for every officer.

The Governor has declared today an official day of mourning to remember four police officers and military personnel, killed this year in the line of duty, including Pearl Police Officer Mike Walter who was buried on Saturday. On Friday, Governor Bryant was in Hernando to participate in DeSoto County’s yearly commemoration of its fallen heroes. MPB’s Sandra Knispel reports.

”Killed in 2003, at the age of 31, left behind two daughters, his parents and two sisters, DeSoto County Sherriff’s Officer Lt. Gregory Floyd Medlin... [bell sounds, wings flutter]"

The barely audible fluttering is the sound of a white dove as it emerges from a small wicker basket and flies off into the blue sky above the crowd gathered at the DeSoto County Courthouse in Hernando. Every year, the county remembers its eight law enforcement officers who’ve lost their lives in the line of duty since 1912.

“We know that this day does precious little to heal your hearts…”

Wanda Jennings is the State Representative for House District 7.

“But we want you to know that it is the best way, the only way, however trite it may seem, that we can all tell you as a county, as a state, as a country, how much we appreciate the price that all of you have paid.”

Governor Bryant, himself a former deputy sheriff, promised the crowd their loved-ones would never be forgotten but also that…

“We will do all that is in our power to make sure that we provide whatever equipment, tools, manpower that is necessary to protect those who serve today.”

Jan Wells, is the older sister of Bobby Wells, Jr., a trooper for the Mississippi Highway Patrol,  who was killed in 1995 – at the age of 30.

 “I don’t want anybody to ever forget what he did, because it’s a sacrifice you make every day.” Reporter: At the same time, doing this [remembrance service] every year, isn’t it hard to relive every year? "Yes, it really is, because you go along with life on an every-day basis and then this comes up once a year and it opens up a can of worms,” Wells replies.

[Nat sound bag pipes]

Southaven Police Chaplain Sergeant Steve Howell summed it up best, praying that no more names be added to the Hernando memorial wall.

Sandra Knispel, MPB News, Hernando.

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Every year, DeSoto County remembers its eight police officers, killed in the line of duty since 1912, releasing a white dove for every officer.


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