Mississippians Honor Law Enforcement Killed in the Line of DutyBy Paul Boger | Published 14 May 2014 08:30am |
Flags will fly at half-staff on all state-buildings from sunrise to sunset tomorrow, to honor those Mississippi police officers and highway patrol troopers who were killed in the line of duty. As MPB's Paul Boger reports the move is part of a series of memorials during National Law Enforcement Officers Week.
Members of the Mississippi Highway Patrol Honor Guard sounded a 21-gun salute Tuesday evening, in memory of the 217 law enforcement officials who have been killed in the line of duty. At the same time, those surviving family members placed roses on a memorial near the Capitol, to commemorate their loss. Robert Smith is the father of Jackson Detective Eric Smith who was shot and killed last year inside police headquarters.
"It means to me that my son did not die in vain." says Smith. "He's not here, but they're still carrying on his memory, and I appreciate that they're still carrying on his memory at this time."
While the service honors all law enforcement officials that have laid done their lives, it specifically recognizes the seven officers that were killed during the past year. Ken Winter is with the Mississippi Police Chiefs Association.
"It means we haven't forgotten." Winters says. "We haven't forgotten the sacrifice that their loved ones made, that their co-workers made. That's simply the end, we'll never forget."
Matthew Hood's father was killed in the line of duty in 2009. As a state trooper himself, he says the service acts as a reminder that law officers their lives on the line everyday.
"We put on this badge and uniform everyday, and we go out to help and protect and serve, and we never know when we're going to get to come home or if we're going to get to come home." says Hood. "I think it's very important to remember things like this."
Last year, the Magnolia State was one of the five deadliest states in the nation for law enforcement officers.
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