End of Watch roll call to be part of Police Memorial Service in Athens

By  | May 14, 2019 | Filed under: News

Chief Floyd Johnson with his head bowed during prayer at the 2018 ceremony

ATHENS-On Thursday, Athens Police Department will read the names of nine law enforcement officers who sacrificed their lives in service to the citizens of Limestone County.

The solemn roll call is part of the department’s annual Police Memorial service held during National Police Week. The ceremony will be Thursday, May 16, at 5 p.m. on the Limestone County Courthouse lawn by the law enforcement memorial. The rain location is the Athens City Hall foyer.

 

“As a department and community, we do not need to forget these officers who lost their lives while doing their job of protecting and serving Athens and Limestone County,” Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson said. “In addition, those who are currently serving appreciate the support and prayers of the community.”

 

Between 1918 and 2004, nine law enforcement officers from Athens Police, Limestone County Sheriff’s Department and State Troopers died in the line of duty here. Some lost their lives responding to calls for help. Some lost their lives trying to apprehend a suspect. One was transporting blood.

 

“Our first responders go to work not knowing what they may encounter during their day on the job,” said Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks. “The nine officers on our End of Watch List encountered tragedy. As a community, we should remember them. We should also take time to thank our first responders.”

 

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls, as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.

 

As part of Thursday’s local ceremony, members of Athens Police’s Honor Guard will lay a wreath by the law enforcement memorial. The public is welcome to attend the service.

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End of Watch for Limestone Count

Athens Police Department

 

  • Bedford F. Brackeen

End of Watch: March 24, 1941

Brackeen was sitting in a patrol car with his partner at the old bus stop at Clinton Street when a man approached their car and started an argument about a prior incident. The man pulled out a revolver and opened fire. Brackeen exited the car and exchanged shots. Brackeen was shot three times but still attempted to chase the suspect before collapsing. The suspect was arrested near Nashville and convicted of first-degree murder.

 

  • Billy Daly

End of Watch: Dec. 22, 1964

Daly was on his police motorcycle when a vehicle struck him at U.S. 31 and Forrest Street. He had been with the department for two years.

 

  • Lt. Benton McLemore

End of Watch: March 7, 1969

A suspect shot and killed McLemore after the officer responded to the suspect’s house to check on his welfare. The suspect was known to be mentally ill and shot McLemore with a shotgun after the officer knocked on the door. The suspect killed himself before capture.

 

  • Dewey Wayne Dorsey Sr.

End of Watch: Feb. 11, 1989

Dorsey died from injuries sustained in an automobile accident while transporting blood to Athens-Limestone Hospital. The hospital treated and released Dorsey, but a blood clot developed and killed him.

 

  • Sgt. Larry Wayne Russell
  • OfficerTony Mims

End of Watch: Friday, Jan. 2, 2004

The men responded to a 911 call made by a man with a history of mental illness. The man opened fire as each officer pulled into the driveway, killing Mims first and Russell second. The bullets pierced their vehicles and bulletproof vests. The suspect died in prison.

 

Limestone County Sheriff’s Department

 

  • Chief Deputy James Henry Eubank

End of Watch: Thursday, June 13, 1918

A suspect shot and killed Eubank while he searched a house for a weapon.

 

Troopers

 

  • David E. Temple

End of Watch: Sept. 13, 1979

A man shot and killed Temple after the officer pulled up to him in Limestone County in an attempt to arrest him for a car lot robbery in Decatur. The man leaned out of his car and opened fire on Temple. The man then got out of the car and walked to where Temple lay on the ground and shot him several more times. The suspect fled the scene and led police on a chase through Madison. Police shot and killed him after he wounded another officer.

 

 

 

  • Simmie L. Jeffries

End of Watch: Friday, Dec. 21, 1984

Jeffries died from an accident when his patrol car collided with a tractor-trailer in Limestone County.

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