By Joey McWilliams
DURANT – The Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary Lodge No. 113 hosted a memorial to honor the fallen law enforcement officers of Bryan County. The ceremony was held in conjunction with Police Week 2018.
The service was held at Market Square in Durant and officers from agencies throughout the county were in attendance with representatives from: Achille Police Department, Bennington Police Department, Bokchito Police Department, Bryan County Sheriff’s Department, Caddo Police Department, Calera Police Department, Choctaw Nation Tribal Police Department, Colbert Police Department, Durant Police Department, Department of Fish & Game, Department of Probation & Parole, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the Southeastern Oklahoma State University Campus Police.
The ceremony honored 14 officers who were killed in the line of duty in Bryan County from 1894 to the present:
• Bennington City Marshal James Eli Parish – July 23, 1912
• Bokchito City Marshal Carl Lee “Don” Hart – May 21, 1972
• Bokchito City Marshal Warren N. Smith – Nov. 18, 1951
• Bryan County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael D. Pace – Dec. 29, 1998
• Bryan County Sheriff John Ellis Williams – Nov. 4, 1938
• Caddo City Marshal Morgan Haddock – Dec. 13, 1951
• Oklahoma ABLE Commission Agent Lori Dean Thomas – Oct. 23, 1994
• OHP Trooper Nicolas Dees – Jan. 31, 2015
• OHP Trooper Houston F. “Pappy” Summers – May 26, 1978
• OHP Trooper Billy Gene Young – May 26, 1978
• OHP Lt. Pat Grimes – May 26, 1978
• Deputy U.S. Marshal Abner David McLellan – July 20, 1894
• U.S. Indian Police Edward A. Bohanon – Aug. 25, 1895
A blue rose was placed in a memorial flower arrangement to honor each of the officers recognized.
Choctaw Nation Executive Director of Public Safety John Hobbs addressed the crowd and more than 100 were in attendance for the event.
In 2017, 128 officers were killed in the line of duty. Year to date in 2018, 53 officers have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Since the first known line-of-duty death in 1791, more than 21,000 U.S. law enforcement officers have made the ultimate sacrifice.