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Fort Smith Police honor fallen officers with candlelight vigil

On Thursday, Oct. 14, Sebastian County residents gathered in Fort Smith to honor the lives of those killed while on duty.

FORT SMITH, Ark. — Honoring the lives of fallen officers, the River Valley law enforcement community came together to remember those who were killed in the line of duty.

On Thursday, Oct. 14, Fort Smith was filled with bagpipes playing, candles lighting up the cloudy sky and the hearts of those who lost loved ones.

"It's been hard on family members and I know it's been hard on people on the force,” said Linda Gilham-Elmore. “So, I just what to support them. My heart goes out."

Gilham-Elmore attended Thursday’s candlelight vigil to honor and remember her brother who died while on duty in 1984.

"This is a way for me to just tell my brother, 'you're here with me, I'm here with you,'" Gilham-Elmore said.

The grief of lost loved ones brought people together and shined a light on the brave men and women who protect and serve our community.

"Their sacrifices continue to inspire for years and years," said Fort Smith Police Public Information Officer Aric Mitchell.

"I want to thank our law enforcement for having the courage to go do what they do every single day," Gilham-Elmore said. “Because they never know if they're going to come home."

River Valley residents, Fort Smith Mayor George McGill and law enforcement came out to show their support Thursday night.

"We lost Danny Martinez, a great officer during a domestic call and just recently we lost Sgt. Entmeier," Mitchell said.

Sergeant Entmeier is believed to have died from COVID-19 complications, but the final word from medical examiners on the official cause of death has yet to be released.

The vigil is usually held in May during "Police Week" but was postponed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Fort Smith hosted its vigil simultaneously with the one in Washington, D.C., honoring more than 700 fallen officers.

Fayetteville Police made a Facebook post saying Fayetteville officers were in attendance at the vigil in Washington D.C. Officer Stephen Carr was honored as one of the names read at the Nation’s Capitol.
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