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Fallen officers honored at annual candlelight vigil

Officers, lawmakers, and the families of fallen officers gathered in the Capitol City Tuesday for the Mississippi Fallen Law Enforcement Officers Candlelight Vigil will be held at the Statewide Fallen Officers Memorial in Jackson.

The following names were added to the state’s memorial wall:

  • William L. Dunnam     4/1/1921           Richton Town Marshal
  • B. M. Millstead           4/17/1920          Richton Town Marshal
  • John R. Harris            7/18/1922         Hinds County S.O.
  • Clarence J. Lanier      8/11/1930         Warren County S.O.
  • James Lee Tartt         2/20/2016         MS Bureau of Narcotics

Attorney General Jim Hood served as the keynote speaker, with prayer offered by Rep. Andy Gipson of Braxton. The ceremony was led by Oxford Police Chief and head of the Mississippi Association of the Chiefs of Police, Joey East.

“You almost can’t put into words what it is like to have all these people come together,” said East. “And to pay respects to those fallen and their families. It’s incredible.”

Among the crowd were the mother and wife of Benjamin Deen, a Hattiesburg officer killed in the line of duty on May 9, 2015. Deen’s partner Liquori Tate was also killed that night.

“It means a lot, every honor event we go to,” said Mary Ellen Deen, the mother of officer Deen. “They don’t realize they (the officers), what they’ll go through to protect them.”

Deen’s wife, Robin, said the events are humbling.

“It’s humbling, you know, to see so many people come together,” said Robin Deen. “And it makes me feel good that his son can come here and see his Daddy’s name on that wall.”

Shortly after Officer Deen was killed, his daughter died from an undetected health issue.

Robin added that at these events, you run across the families of those who are in mourning, but also those who are lucky enough to have their officers come home. For those who fear getting that call in the night that something happened, Robin had a piece of advice.

“Pray,” she said. “You dread that call. Whether they are day or night shift. That’s all I can say is pray.”

Here is video of the event:

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