National Police Week remembers fallen officers May 12-18

National Police Week remembers fallen officers May 12-18

(WLOX) - Across the country, law enforcement officers are being honored for putting their lives on the lines every day. National Police Week is being celebrated from May 12-18.

In South Mississippi, agencies are holding multiple ceremonies of remembrance to honor officers who have died in the line of duty, including Biloxi Officer Robert McKeithen, who was killed May 5.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Department will hold multiple ceremonies at the same time on Thursday. At exactly 2 p.m., deputies will lay wreaths on the graves of the county’s fallen officers. Those officers include:

  • Ocean Springs Police Sgt. Ernest F. "Red" Beaugez, who died 5/27/54 at the age 34;
  • Pascagoula Police Officer Jeffery Rugheimer, who died 5/30/72 at the age 24;
  • Pascagoula Police Major Nathaniel Smith, who died 5/22/76 at the age of 39;
  • National Park Service Ranger Robert McGhee, who died 5/26/90 at the age of 50;
  • Jackson County Sheriff's Deputy Bruce Evans, who died 7/18/00 at the age of 30;
  • Moss Point Police Officer Larry Lee, who died 10/17/02 at the age of 43; 
  • Pascagoula Police Officer Terry Michael Byrd, who died 3/27/06 at the age 26.

The Sheriff's Department Honor Guard will perform a ceremony at Officer Beaugez's gravesite at Bellande Cemetery in Ocean Springs.

Biloxi Police Department will hold its annual Fallen Officer Ceremony in memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. The ceremony will be at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 16, at Biloxi Police Department, located at 170 Porter Ave.

Gulfport Police Department will hold a memorial ceremony at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 17, at the Robert J. Curry Public Safety Center, located at 2220 15th St.

Other memorial ceremonies are being held around the state. Some of those include:

  • The 2019 Fallen Officers Memorial Services on Tuesday, May 14, at 10 a.m. at Mississippi Highway Patrol headquarters, located at 1900 E. Woodrow Wilson Ave. in Jackson.
  • The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Fallen Officer Memorial Service on Wednesday, May 15 at MDWFP headquarters in Jackson;
  • The 9th annual Mississippi Law Enforcement Memorial Candlelight Vigil at 6:30 p.m. at the State Capitol Mall on High Street in Jackson;
  • The U.S. Attorney’s National Police Week Fun Run will take place Thursday, May 16, at 6 p.m., beginning at Buffalo Wild Wings.

National Police Week was first recognized in 1962 when President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week.

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