HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Members of law enforcement agencies in Forrest and Lamar counties gathered with local residents Wednesday morning to remember law officers who’ve given their lives in the line of duty.
An annual police memorial ceremony at the Lake Terrace Convention Center honored 17 fallen officers from the Hattiesburg Police Department, the Forrest County Sheriff’s Department or the Mississippi Highway Patrol.
During the ceremony, a wrath was laid and the name of each fallen officer was read aloud.
“This just gives us an opportunity to come and pay our respects to those who paid the ultimate price, the ultimate sacrifice,” said Matthew Hiatt, chief of the Petal Police Department.
“It gives recognition to the families that what their loved one has sacrificed is not being forgotten by us and the community,” said Anthony Parker, chief of the Hattiesburg Police Department.
“We’re one big agency, one family in the Pine Belt and it’s a tribute to the officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice and it’s something we should never forget, we should always keep it in the back of our minds,” said Danny Rigel, sheriff of Lamar County.
The ceremony became a combined service in 2015 after the deaths of Hattiesburg police officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate.