Hattiesburg Police officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate were killed in the line of duty May 9, 2015, in downtown Hattiesburg on East 4th Street during a traffic stop.
Two years later, members of the Briarfield Community, Hattiesburg Housing Authority and a retired HPD captain are spearheading efforts to build a memorial honoring the two.
“As a whole, the community of Briarfield, we’ve elected to build a memorial site, for citizens of Hattiesburg, the family, and so other police officers can come to the memorial site,” said Peggy Sealy, retired Hattiesburg Police Captain.
Sealy said both officers were dedicated to making the community and the city of Hattiesburg a safer place to live.
The memorial will be located alongside the scene where Deen and Tate were killed, just east of Ryan Street, along East 4th.
“It’s going to make a nice little memorial park in an area that’s not used right now, and it will really be a wonderful thing for Hattiesburg and that area of town,” Hattiesburg City Council President Carter Carroll said.
“It means a lot,” Sealy said. “You know, this was there community that they worked the shift, so you know, they gave to this community, so we just want to give back.”
The site is drawn to have a seating area, walkway, as well as a central focal point of the monument.
“We are going to have a statue made of carbon steel erected, a bench where the family could sit, just a centralized gathering location,” Sealy said.
Sealy and Carroll said since the past times the officers have been honored, and people have gathered in the streets, having this monument built will be an ideal place for future ceremonies.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for our city and our citizens to come together and create a memorial for officers Deen and Tate,” Carroll said. “Not only for them, but for all of our officers, all of our first responders and show everyone around Hattiesburg, that in Hattiesburg, all lives matter.”
If you are interested in donating to the memorial site, you can contact the Hattiesburg Housing Authority at 601-583-1881.