State law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty while serving the state of Mississippi are being remembered this week. MPB's Mark Rigsby attended a memorial service in Jackson and spoke to some of the families of those who died.
Families of the fallen, and law enforcement officers from across Mississippi joined state leaders at highway patrol headquarters to honor the memory of 33 state officers who have given the ultimate sacrifice during the agency's 80 year history. MHP Master Sergeant Kyle Kendall's father Trooper Tommy Kendall was killed in the line of duty during a traffic stop after pulling over a suspect in an armed robbery on this day 51 years ago.
"It's a day that we will reflect of course. Even though time has passed. 51 years is a long time. It just goes to show what kind of character this organization has in remembering the officers."
The latest name on the memorial is state Bureau of Narcotics Agent Lee Tartt, who was shot and killed during a hostage standoff in North Mississippi in February 2016. His widow, Debra, placed a rose at the memorial when Lee's name was called.
"This is a very memorable day. To me, it is about sacrifice. I don't know if I can do this. It's about valor. It's about what he stood for. It's about honoring what the men in blue do for us."
Since 1940, most of the 33 state law enforcement officers who were struck down serving the public were troopers, five were Bureau of Narcotics agents.