Memorial service honors Tennessee's fallen officers

Memorial service honors Tennessee's fallen officers

May 17th, 2013 by Staff Report in Local - Breaking News

Tennessee Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons

Photo by Tracey Trumbull /Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE - Top Safety Department officials led a special memorial service today honoring Tennessee state troopers and other law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty to commemorate National Police Week.

"These men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice," Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said at the service, held at the department's headquarters. "They are in our thoughts and prayers every day. We can never repay their families for their service to our state and to our country, but we can honor them and promise to never forget their sacrifice."

Since the creation of the Tennessee Highway Patrol in 1929, 41 troopers have died in the line of duty, according to a department news release.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Col. Tracy Trott also participated in the service while Major General Terry M. "Max" Haston, Tennessee's Adjunct General in the Military Department, delivered the keynote address.

In observance of National Police Week, the THP's annual Memorial Service was held at the department's headquarters in Nashville.

Two state troopers have died in the past year. Trooper Ronnie Hale died in July of a heart attack while on duty in White County. Trooper Michael Slagle died in January following a car crash on an icy road while on duty in Knox County.

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 40 officers have died in the line of duty this year, including Slagle.