Fallen police officers to be honored next week

Published 10:24 pm Thursday, May 7, 2009

Safety is something many in Troy may take for granted at times. But, to families of fallen police officers, it’s not easy to forget the price.

That’s why Troy Police Spokesman Sgt. Benny Scarbrough said it’s important city residents take time to recognize officers throughout next week, which is National Police Memorial Week.

Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford signed a proclamation at city hall earlier this week, declaring Police Memorial Week will begin Monday, May 13 and end Saturday, May 16. In addition, Wednesday, May 13 will be set aside as Police Memorial Day to recognize all locally affiliated officers who have lost their lives in service to the community.

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“This is a time we can still honor those officers and remember them, and at the same time we can come together with their families in remembering those officers,” Scarbrough said.

The annual ceremony will be in front of the Troy Police Station on Elm Street at 10 a.m. Lunsford will welcome those in attendance and Police Chief Anthony Everage will read the “Roll Call of Honor” to recognize officers killed in the line of duty.

Five officers alone have died from the TPD through the years. They are: Will Jackson, 1905; Hayden Youngblood, 1962; Cecil Sullivan, 1967; Billy Dease, 1968; Steve Watkins, 1981.

But, Scarbrough said the service will recognize officers who have served Pike County, as well.

Those are: Alabama Conservation Officer Grady Russell Jackson; Alabama State Trooper R.W. “Bob” Jones; Greenville Police Officer Gary Wayne Heath, a Troy University graduate; Montgomery Police Officer Willie Pryor, a Troy graduate; Former Troy University Police Officer Michael Brandon Lassiter, of the Covington County Sheriff’s Department; and Former Troy Police Chief John Lee, who died in Montevallo.

After the ceremony in front of the station, the service will continue to Bicentennial Park in Troy.

But, this week and the service is not just to honor those officers who have died.

“The service and the week are also a time to honor the service of those working for us every day,” Scarbrough said. “It’s a time we take out to honor them.”