Police department to honor fallen officers

Published 2:50 pm Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Greenville Police Department will honor its fallen officers at a memorial service on Wednesday.

Officers George Bryan, Joe Herring and Gary Heath will be remembered during the service. All three officers gave their lives in the line of duty while serving the City of Greenville.

Butler County Sheriff’s Office deputies John T. Sanders, Sr. and William Henry Barganier will also be remember. Both gave their lives in the line of duty.

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“We want to honor the memory of the officers that lost their lives serving our community, and also celebrate their lives,” Chief Lonzo Ingram said. “We have this service every year because we want to keep their memory alive.”

Along with recognizing the officers that “made the ultimate sacrifice,” the service will also offer an opportunity to recognize the service of the department’s current officers, according to Ingram.

The GPD will also present its Officer of the Year award and the Gary Heath Education Award, which is presented to an officer that is pursuing higher education or additional training.

The keynote speaker for the event will be James Spann, chief meteorologist for ABC 33/40 in Birmingham.

Spann, also a regular contributor on The Rick & Bubba Show, grew up in Greenville and attended W.O. Parmer Elementary School through the fourth grade before his family moved to Tuscaloosa.

During his more than 30 years in the television business, Spann has worked for WCFT in Tuscaloosa, WSFA in Montgomery and KDFW in Dallas.

In 2001, Spann received an Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and has been selected as the state’s “Best Weather Anchor” more than 15 times by the Alabama Broadcasters Association and the Associated Press. He’s also one of the first weather anchors to earn the status of “Certified Broadcast Meteorologist” from the American Meteorological Society. In order to be recognized as such, broadcasters must hold a degree in meteorology or the equivalent from an accredited college or university, pass a written exam and have their on-air work reviewed to assess technical competence, informational and explanatory value, and communication skills.

The memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. at the Wendell Mitchell Conference Center on the campus of LBW Community College. A reception will be held following the service.