BENTON, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Bossier Sheriff’s Office held a memorial Wednesday at the Bossier Parish Courthouse to honor fallen law enforcement officers of the area.

The event at the Bossier Parish Courthouse in Benton paid tribute to the 45 law enforcement officers of Northwest Louisiana who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives in the line of duty since 1894. They also paid respects to their family members, friends, and fellow officers. The family of the fallen officers filled the courthouse front yard.

“I mean I said goodbye and gave a kiss to a man, that I never saw again, that was 55 years ago,”Judy Smith said, wife of fallen officer Kenneth Franklin Herriage. “I was pregnant with a little boy that’s never seen him, I have a son who has never been held never been encouraged never had a father figure and so I’m really mindful of a gap these men and women leave in the world.”

Smith’s husband was killed in the line of duty in downtown Shreveport in 1966.

“I’m here because my husband isn’t and I hear the others and I hear the sniffles then I look around at these other men and women, and I think father protect them,” said Smith

Agencies that participated in this year’s service were the Bossier, Caddo, and Webster Parish Sheriff’s Offices, Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, Bossier City and Shreveport Police, Louisiana State Police Troop G, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and the Bossier City and Shreveport Marshals’ Offices.

It was only a few months ago when Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker responded to a shots fired call in Doyline Parish when Deputy Billy Collins Jr. was killed n the line of duty.

“It was an honor for me to be a part of the ceremony and to talk about Billy and his loss and how we’ve had to deal with it at the Sheriff’s office we’ve had a tough year,” Parker said.

Memorials are held across the country on the first day of Police Week every year. There is a National Law Enforcement Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. where the National Law Enforcement Memorial candlelight vigil is held each year.

Interim Shreveport Police Chief Wayne Smith shared his experience with the families of those fallen officers

“When I handed the rose, and shake hands or touch that family member I relive it in my mind all over again the ones that I knew and certainly the ones that I didn’t know also,” said Interim Shreveport Police Chief Wayne Smith.

October 13 is the first day of National Police Week this year. President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May 15 of each year as Peace Officers` Memorial Day in honor of the federal, state, and municipal officers who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty year’s observance of National Police Week and the Peace Officers Memorial Ceremony was moved to Oct 13-17 due to Covid-19 protocols.

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