Jacksonville remembers fallen officers in memorial service

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It’s National Police Week and officers across the nation are being recognized for their service. 

This week honors those killed in the line of duty and those who currently serve. May 15 is designated as National Peace Officers Memorial Day. 

Jacksonville Public Safety and city officials held a ceremony Wednesday morning to remember officers who have been killed in the line of duty. 

The ceremony included a moment of silence and a re-dedication to the Jacksonville Public Safety Remembrance Garden. 

“The memorial represents more than just the two officers that fallen it represents all those sacrifices that those folks have given to make their community a better place,” said Chief Mike Yaniero of the Jacksonville Police Department.

Three memorial monuments have been placed on top of the garden. The two side stones will be the names of the fallen. 

There are two names engraved on the stones: Billy Whitehead and Terry Lanier. Lanier died from a knife wound on May 11, 1979. 

Whitehead is the last officer the Jacksonville Police Department lost. He died in 1981. Mayor Sammy Phillips said, “he was somebody I could confide in, that I could talk to.” 

The two names have been added to the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial in Washington D.C. It is the nation’s monument to law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. 

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