Fallen officers remembered at memorial service

Published 9:53 am Thursday, May 15, 2014

Local law enforcement officers honored their fallen comrades on Wednesday with a memorial service at the Wendell Mitchell Conference Center on the campus of LBW Community College. (Advocate Staff/Andy Brown)

Local law enforcement officers honored their fallen comrades on Wednesday with a memorial service at the Wendell Mitchell Conference Center on the campus of LBW Community College. (Advocate Staff/Andy Brown)

Local law enforcement officers honored their fallen comrades on Wednesday with a memorial service at the Wendell Mitchell Conference Center on the campus of LBW Community College.

Officers George Bryan, Joe Herring and Gary Heath were 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 were also remembered on Wednesday. Both gave their lives in the line of duty.

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

Along with remembering the officers that gave their lives in service to the community, the GPD and the BCSO honored their officer and deputy of the year.

Cpl. Danny Bond received the GPD’s Officer of the Year award, which is sponsored by CorStone.

Investigator Sean Klaetsch received the BCSO’s Deputy of the Year award.

The GPD also awarded the Gary Heath Education Award to Lt. Malcom Owens. That award is sponsored by Camellia Communications.

FBI Special Agent Doug Astralaga served as the keynote speaker.

Astralaga was on the scene during the hostage crisis in Midland City after Jimmy Lee Dykes boarded a Dale County school bus, killed the driver and took a five-year-old boy hostage. Dykes held the boy hostage in a bunker for almost seven days before law enforcement agents entered the bunker, killed Dykes, and rescued the child hostage.

 

KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY

1892: William Henry Barganier was killed while attempting to arrest a man wanted on multiple charges. When Barganier entered the boarding house where the man was staying, he was shot in the face and later died from the injuries.

1904: Greenville Police Officer George Bryan responded to a residence in the Till Community of Butler County to assist the Sheriff’s Office in serving a warrant on a suspect accused of burning down the Baptist church in Till. The suspect resisted and fired several shots. Officer Bryan was struck and critically injured. He died five days later.

1939: John T. Sanders, Sr. was killed while trying to apprehend a suspect. He was transporting a prisoner back to Greenville by train when the man suddenly jumped from the moving train near Georgiana. Sanders jumped out of the train and tumbled down a steep embankment. While Sanders successfully recaptured the escapee, he later died from injuries suffered during his jump from the train.

1968: Greenville Police Officer Joe Herring was thrown from his motorcycle while pursuing a fleeing vehicle on Hwy. 10 West.

1994: Greenville Police Officer Gary Wayne Heath was shot and killed after interrupting a robbery attempt at a local convenience store. The suspect later shot and killed Deputy Len J. Rowell, of the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department (Miss.) and Lt. Coy Smith of the Alabama Public Service Commission. The suspect committed suicide after being surrounded by officers.