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As members of the Dalton Police Department Honor Guard look on, Chief Jason Parker, right, speaks during Friday morning's ceremony. (Dalton Police Department)

 

Police officers and residents in Dalton, Ga., gathered Friday to honor five Georgia officers who died in the line of duty in the last year and those who went before them.

The Peace Officers Memorial Day ceremony included a wreath-laying ceremony at the Police Services Center and individual roses placed in honor of two Dalton Police Department officers who died in the line of duty: Chief William Hannah (1899) and Officer Maurice W. Phillips Sr. (1956), and Kathy Cox, of the Gordon County Sheriff's Office, who was killed in the line of duty in 2008.

Dalton Chief Jason Parker said in a speech that he's heard a lot recently that now is "an awfully tough time to be a cop in America."

"While that might be true, it's always a difficult time to be a police officer," Parker said, according to a news release. "Today there is a serious cultural debate underway about policing. ... [But] we as a society should not allow the mistakes of less than one percent to captivate the entire narrative on the state of policing in our nation. "The danger and demands of police work take a heavy toll, he said, but most officers in the profession do it because they have "a sense of duty as a member of society; they want to help people who need it the most, but who may not realize it at the time. ..." Parker said.

Department spokesman Bruce Frazier then read the names of the five Georgia law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty since last year's Peace Officers Memorial Day: Deputy Steven LaCruz Thomas, Franklin County Sheriff's Office (May 21, 2014), Officer Kevin Dorian Jordan, Griffin Police Department (May 31, 2014), Deputy Michael Norris, Monroe County Sheriff's Office (September 14, 2014), Detective Terence Avery Green, Fulton County Police Department (March 4, 2015), and Officer Darryl Wallace, Clayton County Police Department (March 15, 2015). The ceremony concluded after a moment of silence in their honor.

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