Fallen officers honored with memorial services

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 19, 2000

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / May 19, 2000

HAHNVILLE – Sheriff Greg Champagne reminded his deputies, “Nobody has a more dangerous job than you do,” as he led the 18th annual Peace Officers Memorial Service on the lawn of the St. Charles Parish courthouse.The service was in memory of officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Portraits of those St. Charles Parish officers who died while serving thecommunity surrounded the podium. Those included Deputy James AllenArterbury, shot on July 4, 1973; Deputy Nelson Coleman, who suffered a heart attack on Nov. 5, 1982; and Sheriff Lewis Ory, murdered on Jan. 26,1903.

The sheriff advised his officers that no one can ever second-guess their actions and should never be discouraged by those who try without having been in their shoes. He was referring to the incident in St. Rose severalmonths ago where a domestic violence call ended in a man aiming a shotgun at deputies and being shot himself. The officers came under some publiccriticism, but an investigation justified their actions.

Champagne expressed thanks that yet again no one among his staff died in the past year. The service also recognized those other Louisiana peaceofficers who died last year, including Gramercy Police Chief Michael Kahl, who died in an Oct. 18 traffic accident.Other losses of the past year across the state included Deputy Glenda Carmack of Caddo Parish, Deputy Terry Lynn Cox of Cameron Parish, Deputy James Phillips of Jefferson Davis Parish, Deputy Troy Ratcliff of Assumption Parish, Deputy Ernest Willis of Allen Parish, state corrections officer Capt.

David Knapps and Killian Officer Ronald Medeiros.

Across the nation, 134 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty.

Featured speaker was the Rev. Jesse Duplantis, joined by Parish PresidentAlbert Laque, Justice of the Peace L.J. Frickey and departmental chaplainsEddy Beckendorf and Gary Bolden. The event was co-sponsored by thesheriff’s office, the St. Charles Clergy Alliance and the Fraternal Order ofPolice.

“This is to honor those who gave their lives to protect someone else,” Laque commented, “and to the memory of their lives we shared with them.”

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