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Department of Wildlife honors fallen officers

Photo courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks

May 15th is National Peace Officers Memorial Day. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks honored their fallen officers during a ceremony at their headquarters in Jackson.

The thought of a loved one dying is one of the most horrifying life events many will ever experience. For a law enforcement officer and their family, it is a reality they may face any day. Just last week, two Mississippi officers died in the line of duty, Biloxi Police Officer Rob McKeithen and Lowndes County Constable “Hoot” West.

US Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, Mike Hurst served as the keynote speaker and quoted the Bible verse John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Hurst said love is a sacrifice.

“We are here today because men and women have literally laid down their lives not just for their friends, but for strangers, for criminals so that you and I can remain free and remain safe,” Hurst said.

In the nearly 90 years since the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) was established, 12 conservation officers have been killed in the line of duty.

“Law enforcement is an inherently dangerous job and with our officers, there is an added risk because almost everyone they encounter has some form of weapon,” said MDWFP Executive Director Dr. Sam Polles. “These fallen officers serve as an inspiration to our men and women who carry on the traditions of our agency and it is imperative their legacies are memorialized.”

MDWFP has 218 officers patrolling 2,000 square miles with 2.9 million people.

             Officer End of Watch
Frank W. “Bud” Stuart September 21, 1948
Hi Eastland Johnson October 17, 1952
Ezra Lukee Brewer April 4, 1959
Willie A. Shingler November 13, 1962
Edward W. “Ted” Sloan June 24, 1967
Glen C. Tullos October 11, 1971
Harry C. “Champ” Clark May 15, 1973
Tom M. Stuart, Sr. March 15, 1979
James S. “Jim” Wood October 21, 1984
Hilton H. “Ike” Shoemake December 26, 1990
Michael A. “Mike” Andrews November 11, 2002
John T. Collum May 9, 2014

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