JPD remembers officers lost in line of duty - - The News for South Mississippi

JPD remembers officers lost in line of duty

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Jackson Police Department's annual Jackson Police Memorial is taking place outside of the department headquarters Wednesday morning.

Nearly six weeks have passed since the shooting death of Jackson Police Detective Eric Smith.

Wednesday morning the Jackson Police Department honored Smith and the 14 other JPD officers who've paid the ultimate sacrifice for the community.

The families of slain JPD officers received Peace Lilies for solace and laid a rose for their loved one who died too soon. An American flag was given to slain JPD detective Eric Smith's family and the families of the other JPD officers who've lost a loved one serving in the line of duty.

"Today is a bittersweet occasion, but at the same time it serves as a remembrance to us of what the ultimate sacrifices these officers have made," said JPD's Police Chief Rebecca Coleman.

Detective Smith's son Quentin Smith said the memorial service was comforting in the sense that others have experienced the same pain and survived.

"This means that it's not just me other people who are out here have been affected so I can't feel selfish or sorry for myself. I have to get on with my life," explained Smith.

Detective Smith is the fourth JPD officer to die in the line of duty over the past 18 years. He was shot and killed inside of the police headquarters and remembered with the utmost respect.

"He would always lend a helping hand he was just that kind of detective, matter of fact he was the best," said Jackson's Deputy Chief of Major Investigations, Deric Hearn.

Officials with the Jackson Police Department said they can never thank the victims' families enough for sharing their loved one with the department.

The untimely death of Detective Smith and those who passed before him help those still serving in blue and black work even harder.

"We're committed to the citizens of our community. We are committed to this city, Jackson is the capital of the state of Mississippi and we're committed to making this the finest community to live in," said Deputy Chief Hearn.

Eric Smith's name is now the 15th name etched in the JPD memorial wall.

With prayers lifted, it's JPD's hope that no other names take up the empty space.

Hundreds of officers and family members of victims are in attendance to pay tribute to the 15 officers who have been killed serving with the Jackson Police Department over the years. This is the first memorial since the shooting death of Detective Eric Smith, who was killed April 4.

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