NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Just ahead of National Police week, Tennessee honored its officers killed in the line of duty.
On Tuesday, Tennessee’s Fraternal Order of Police added 19 new names to their memorial on Legislative Plaza across from the state Capitol. Each officer died between 2020 and 2021.
Among those honored were two Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office officials, Deputy Roger Mitchell and Sgt. Josh Stewart, who died from COVID-19.
The ceremony included bagpipes, a 21-gun salute, and a speech from Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.
“We can never express our gratitude. We can never express our appreciation enough to you for the sacrifices that you have made on behalf of Tennesseans,” Governor Lee said.
Governor Lee spoke individually with all the families of the fallen offering prayers and condolences.
“We hope that what today does is express deep honor. We honor our fallen law enforcement officers. We honor them. We hold them up. We remember them. And we hope that today is a part of a healing process for you,” Governor Lee said.
The memorial was created in the year 2000, and names have been added every year, including Jayden Wilkes, whose mother, Rosemary, died in the line of duty when he was five years old. She was a deputy with the Madison County Sheriff’s Department.
“She was a good mom. She was really nice and sweet. Strict sometimes, but nice. And I really loved her,” Wilkes said.
During Tuesday’s ceremony, guests also paused for a moment of silence to honor the police K9s that died on the job.
The following names were added to the memorial this year:
- Danny Laughner Jr- DHS Chattanooga
- Toby Keiser- Knox Co. Sheriff’s Office
- Kenny Gibbons- Dyer Co. Sheriff’s Office
- Willie Lois Dortch- Shelby Co. Sheriff’s Office
- Christopher Scott Triplett- Memphis Police Department
- Ray McCrary Jr- Shelby Co. Sheriff’s Office
- Roger Mitchell- Sullivan Co. Sheriff’s Office
- Lakiesha Tucker- Shelby Co. Sheriff’s Office
- Derek Sidwell- Overton Co. Sheriff’s Office
- Edgar Morris III- Collierville Police Department
- Joshua Hayes- Gibson Co. Sheriff’s Office
- Jimmie Shindler- Memphis Police Department
- David Miller- Clarksville Police Department
- Joshua Stewart- Sullivan Co. Sheriff’s Office
- Teresa Fuller- Wilson Co. Sheriff’s Office
- Darrell Adams- Memphis Police Department
- Vassar Richmond- Bartlett Police Department
- Michael Garbo- DEA Nashville
- Michael Hill- Memphis Police Department