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|