JACKSON, Miss.–You’ll be hearing a lot about police officers who have died in the line of duty this week. Mississippi and its law enforcement agencies were expected to have several ceremonies for those who have sacrificed to keep you safe.
The first ceremony was set for Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Dept. of Public Safety headquarters in Jackson. Spokesman Warren Strain said the annual program would honor the 32 DPS/Miss. Highway Patrol officers who have died while serving in the agency’s 76-year history.
That program will feature Gov. Bryant, Sec. of State Delbert Hosemann, Dept. of Public Safety Commissioner Albert Santa Cruz, and MHP head, Col. Donnell Berry.
Tuesday evening at 6 is the Fallen Officer’s Memorial next to the Gartin Justice Building in Jackson.
The memorial will be a candle light vigil and speeches honoring the men and women who have fallen.
“Mississippi lost too many heroes in the line of duty last year,” said Atty. Gen. Jim Hood. “We will especially honor each one of their sacrifices, along with that of the other 221 officers on our memorial.”
This year’s six new names on the memorial wall are Randy Junir Boykin, chief, Enterprise Police; Eric Tyrone Smith, Jr. detective, Jackson Police; Bruce Daniel Jacob, officer, Jackson Police; Keith Alan crenshaw, corporal, Eupora Police; Clinton High Frazier, corporal, Union Co. Sheriff’s Dept. and Kevin Gale Stauffer, Jr., sergeant, Tupelo Police.
Gov. Bryant was scheduled as the keynote speaker at the event.
Adjustments will likely be made to the service at the Dept. of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks after the Friday on-duty death of Master Sgt. John Collum, a 15-year veteran of the department. He was run over and killed while investigating a prowler call in Ittawamba County, making him the first officer to die in the line of duty in Mississippi in 2014.
That service is set for Thursday at 9 a.m. at the department headquarters on Eastover Dr. in Jackson.
Ricky Flynt, wildlife officer, said most of the Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks officers are sworn police officers, and it was not unusual for Collum, decorated in 2012 as the Southeaster Assoc. of Fish and Wildlife Agencies officer of the year, to be out assisting on police calls.
“I know he was single-handedly involved in saving the lives of three people within a span of about two years,” said Flynt Monday on the JT Show on SuperTalk Mississippi. “Including a plane crash and someone who was on a boat that was on fire.”
Thursday at 2 p.m. there will also be a wreath-laying at the state Law Enforcement Memorial at the Capitol Complex.