JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The 2020 Mississippi Peace Officers Memorial Ceremony was held in downtown Jackson Friday morning at the Mississippi Fallen Officers Memorial Wall.
The ceremony paid tribute to the sacrifice and service of all Mississippi law enforcement officers, while also honoring, remembering and revering those law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2019.
“Even in the midst of the current crisis, while our law enforcement remain on the front lines, it is so important that we continue to thank and honor them publicly for their sacrifice and their service. This ceremony was just one small act to show our gratitude to and love for them and their families for all that they do for us. I especially want the families who have lost love ones to know we in law enforcement will never forget your love one’s devotion to duty and their commitment to service. You have our eternal thanks, and we forever have your back,” said U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst.
“I want to thank United States Attorney Mike Hurst for his leadership in deciding that, no matter what is going on, the people that we are here to commemorate their lives, it is worth the sacrifice,” said Hinds County Sheriff Lee Vance.
“As we honor our Mississippi law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty, we remember each of them and the sacrifices they made to serve their communities. They wanted to make their communities and this great state a better place. We are eternally grateful for the impact they made in the numerous lives that they touched,” said Chief John Neal, Ridgeland Police Department.
“These officers paid the ultimate price, serving and protecting us. Their families made the ultimate sacrifice. We pay tribute to those officers, we honor their families, and we salute all the law enforcement officers throughout the state of Mississippi who continue to serve and protect us on a daily basis. On behalf of all prosecutors across the state of Mississippi to our law enforcement family – we love you, we pray for you, we thank you, and God bless,” said John K. “Bubba” Bramlett, Jr., District Attorney for the Twentieth Circuit Court District.
Based on data collected and analyzed by the FBI’s Law Enforcement Officer Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program, 89 law enforcement officers died nationwide in the line of duty in 2019, including the following Mississippi law enforcement officers:
· Biloxi Police Department Officer Robert McKeithen
· Panola County Constable E. Raye Hawkins
· Chickasaw County Deputy Sheriff Jeremy Allen Voyles
· Lowndes County Constable Willie Houston “Hoot” West