CLARKSVILLE, Ark. — Sunday, May 15 is National Peace Officer Memorial Day and kicks off National Police Week.
In Johnson County, the holiday means something more.
“The reality is there are heartbeats behind those badges, behind those vests. There are families that wait behind closed doors every night just waiting to hear the sound of that Velcro as it comes off and those vests drop,” said Lieutenant Brent Scott of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.
Sadly, for the community of Johnson County, the lives of families and fellow officers have forever been changed as three of their own never made it home.
“Unfortunately, of course, we have three former law enforcement officers that lost their lives in the line of duty,” said Johnson County Sheriff Jimmy Stephens.
Former Sheriff John Powers, Drug Task Force Director Larry Johnson, and, most recently, Reserve Deputy Sonny Smith all gave their lives protecting where they called home.
Sunday was a time for families to come together and remember the lives of those lost. But it was also the anniversary of the death of Deputy Smith.
“The community as a whole still has a wound that has yet to really heal,” said Scott.
However, the service was just a small step to honoring the lives of the fallen officers here at home, but across the nation.
National Peace Officer Memorial Day was enacted during the Kennedy Administration. On this day, May 15th, the names of officers who perished in the line of duty during the previous year are etched in stone at the National Law Enforcement Memorial.
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