A ceremony hosted by Texarkana, Texas, Police Department on Wednesday honored the service of 12 Texas law enforcement personnel who died last year in the line of duty.
TTPD Chief Dan Shiner, city government leaders and clergy spoke during the department's 10th annual Texas Peace Officer Memorial Ceremony at Sullivan Performing Arts Center. The ceremony culminated with an "End of Watch Roll Call Video" on the lives and deaths of the 12 fallen officers.
Pastor Jim Looby of First Baptist Church Queen City delivered the ceremony's main message, centered on John 15:13: "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends."
"We seek and we recognize that order and justice within our society requires a call to service to be answered. At the heart of that service is love," Looby said.
"We seek and we recognize that order and justice within our society requires a call to service to be answered. At the heart of that service is love."
"There is a question of trust between the citizens of too many communities and those who have sworn to serve and protect them. If there is a question raised in the minds of citizens today as to whether the greater number of peace officers are acting according to what they have sworn to do, my hope is that that question may be solidly answered by these names that we honor, the lives of these 12 who we recognize today," he said, going on to compliment the officers in attendance.
"You are needed, you are respected, you are valued, and you are highly esteemed by the great number of citizens you serve," Looby said.
Shiner too praised his officers, calling them "some of the finest men and women I've had the pleasure of serving with."
"They're nothing less than outstanding. I don't think our community and our region really realizes how good they really are. They're ethical, they're dedicated, and they're fully committed to protecting and serving each of you.
"They deserve your support, your respect, and we need to continue to fairly compensate them because we want to keep that knowledge and those skills available locally and not have them go on to other communities outside the region," Shiner said.
Texas-side City Manager Shirley Jaster delivered a welcome, and Mayor Bob Bruggeman read a proclamation recognizing the event. TTPD chaplains Tommy Gaither and Dennis Heath gave the invocation and benediction, respectively.
The ceremony took place during National Police Week, a tradition begun by President John F. Kennedy in 1962, according to policeweek.org.
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