Officers who gave their lives in the line of duty were recognized Wednesday afternoon in a special ceremony.
By DEE TUBBS
Bastrop Police Officer David Madison White Sr.
Morehouse Parish Sheriff Deputy Harland M. Bonner
Wild Life and Fisheries Agent Leon "Buddy" Henderson Jr.
Louisiana State Police Sgt. George Douglas Johnston.
Bastrop Police Department Detective John Russell Smith.
Bastrop Police Department Detective Charles "Chuck" Wilson.
The names listed above are of peace officers who laid down their lives protecting others in Morehouse Parish.
Police Officer David White was beaten to death while escorting a prisoner to the city's jail on Monday, Aug. 21, 1944. The prisoner attacked Officer White, took his service weapon and then beat him to death with the weapon.
Officer White had served with the agency for 5 years.
On June 22, 1984, Sheriff's Deputy Harland Bonner was shot and killed with his own weapon when he attempted to arrest a suspect with a driving under the influence warrant. When Deputy Bonner confronted the suspect, the he was able to overpower Bonner and gain control of his firearm, shooting and killing Deputy Bonner. He then remained on the scene where responding officers arrested him.
Wildlife and Fisheries Agent Leon "Buddy" Henderson's vehicle was struck by a large piece of farming equipment as Henderson was en route to a reported drowning on March 12, 1996. The farm vehicle came to rest on Henderson's truck, trapping him inside. Henderson was taken to the hospital and died two weeks later. He had served with the Morehouse Parish Sheriff's Office for several years before becoming an Agent.
La. State Police Sgt. George Douglas "Doug" Johnston was killed Nov. 17, 1997 in a single-car accident on La. Hwy 139.
Police Detectives John Smith and Chuck Wilson were shot and killed while responding to a local hotel to investigate a recent theft on Aug. 10, 2007 Unknown to them, two murder suspects were hiding in the motel and when the detectives arrived, a gun battle ensued, taking both their lives.
These men left behind family, friends and other loved ones while protecting Morehouse Parish. On Wednesday, their lives and memories were celebrated and given the respect they earned with a Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Officer's Memorial in the plaza of Bastrop City Hall.
As Baton Rouge Police Department Lt. Mavis Johnson sang Amazing Grace, The Honor Guard Unit comprised of officers from the Bastrop Police Department, the Morehouse Parish Sheriff's Office, the Louisiana State Police and the Sterlington Police Department, led by MPSO Sgt. Gary Guice and BPD Detective Eric Newnum posted the Colors by the monument.
After Bastrop Mayor Betty Alford-Olive, BPD Chief Downey Black and MPSO Sheriff Mike Tubbs spoke of the sacrifice given, Sgt. Guice and Detective Newnum lead them to the memorial, where the wreath was placed. Detective Richard Pace then spoke of the friends he and others had lost.
"We hold these officer's families close to our hearts because these men were not on fellow workers but also brothers to us," Pace said.
Children of law enforcement officers then placed candles in the fountain while Lt. Johnson sang a special rendition of Amazing Grace: The Policeman's Tribute.