Wicker, Hyde-Smith honor Mississippi’s fallen officers
By Alex Paton
U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith recognized National Police Week by offering tributes to three Mississippi law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.
National Police Week, May 13- 19, is being commemorated across the nation, and on Tuesday the 15th, the two senators attended the 36th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service on Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol.
Wicker and Hyde-Smith honored the memories of the Mississippi officers being remembered during this year’s services. They included Lincoln County Deputy Sheriff Donald William Durr, Quitman County Deputy Sheriff James Edward Clark, and Shannon Police Chief Bobby Gene Spencer.
“The addition of these three Mississippians to the National Law Enforcement Memorial reminds us of the risks law enforcement officers take every day to keep our communities and families safe,” said Senator Wicker. “On behalf of all Mississippians, we are grateful for the service and sacrifice of all police and law enforcement officers.”
The memorial service at the U.S. Capitol was hosted by the Fraternal Order of Police/Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary (FOP/FOPA). The overall national observance is organized by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Concerns of Police Survivors and FOP/FOPA.
“My heart goes out to the families of our fallen officers. We all have a role in keeping our communities safe. We also owe a measure of gratitude to the men and women in law enforcement who dedicate their lives on a daily basis to protect us,” Hyde-Smith said.
Wicker and Hyde-Smith also cosponsored a Senate resolution on National Police Week, which“recognizes the members of the law enforcement profession for their selfless acts of bravery” and“ acknowledges that police officers and other law enforcement personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice should be remembered and honored.”
The names of Durr, Clark, and Spencer have also been added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund says that 239 Mississippi officers have fallen in the line of duty during the state’s history.
Durr was shot and killed in Bogue Chitto on May 27, 2017, while responding to a domestic disturbance. Durr, who previously served with the Brookhaven Police Department, was among seven victims murdered by the gunman.
Clark died in a vehicle crash in Falcon while responding to a shooting on August 13, 2017. The deputy sheriff previously served as chief of police in Crowder.
Spencer was shot and killed in an ambush outside the Shannon Police Department in January 1997. The case remains open for the Air Force veteran who served 23 years in law enforcement.