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Community honors local law enforcement

Carole Robinson

Brentwood Police Department Color Guard: Officers Guy Carden, Matt Matheny and Stan Boyd

Area police and members of the community gathered May 7 in the Franklin Theatre and on The Square to honor and remember those who serve and those who sacrifi ced their lives while serving in Law Enforcement.

“What is a hero?” asked John Maxwell, president of the Fraternal Order of Police.

While most people consider sports fi gures and movies stars heroes, but Maxwell reminded the gathering a hero is a person of distinction admired for achievements and qualities – one that shows great courage.

“Around this room you see different uniforms – you see real heroes,” Maxwell said.

Real heroes who serve and protect. Men and women who risk their lives to protect and deliver milk to a family with little ones who were locked in their home because terrorists were at large – all in the same day.

As the men and women in law enforcement were recognized and remembered, Maxwell reminded the group of the “unsung heroes” – the family who, every day, "wait for the phone call,” they pray won’t come.

Keynote speaker, Mark Wynn, former lieutenant with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said, “We gather here to honor and remember the brave officers who sacrifice their lives every day and to honor honor those who sacrificed their lives. … It is my duty to remember.

It is my duty never to forget. It is our duty to remember. it is our duty to never forget.”

Law enforcement offi cers put themselves in danger every day and come home unscathed, or just one day and never come home. Six local offi cers put their lives in danger one day and never came home.

Sheriff Milton Stephens was shot and killed in 1919 by two horse thieves while en route to jail.

In 1925, Constable Samuel “Sammy” Claybrooke Locke was shot and killed by bootleggers in an ambush while trying to shut down a whiskey still.

Constable Andrew Mattison Sullivan was shot and killed in 1933 while serving an arrest warrant at a home. Constable Clarence Wesley Reed was shot in the back and killed in 1944 during a reckless driver traffic stop.

In 1972, Deputy Sheriff John Morris Heithcock was shot and killed while assisting the Fairview police chief with a domestic violence call at a home.

Just three years ago in 2010, Cpl. Jeremy Caleb McLaren of the Spring Hill Police Department was killed in an automobile accident when a truck ran a stop light.

A procession of law enforcement members and supporters was led by the riderless horse and the sorrowful sound of bagpipes from the theatre to the memorial by the Old Courthouse on the town square. The solemn ceremony on the square, which brought tears to the eyes of many concluded with a 21-gun salute, End of Watch call and the haunting sound of Taps echoing off the buildings.

Posted on: 5/9/2013


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