Ceremony Honors Fallen Officers For National Police Week

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FORT SMITH (KFSM)-- U.S. marshal, Mike Oglesby spoke at a ceremony on Saturday (May 21) at the Fort Smith National Historic Site. The ceremony was held on the last day of National Police Week and honored not only the local officers but the officers across the nation who were killed in the line of duty.

“129 officers were killed in 2015, and so far this year, the 1st of May which is a third of the year gone by, we’ve lost 74,” Oglesby told the crowd.

Dozens of people came to the ceremony, and Oglesby told them the story of Bill Lee who was the Pope County undersheriff when Oglesby was a rookie at the Mena Police Department.

“Bill was one of the finest guys I ever knew, Oglesby said.  “He was one of those guys who was career army. He put his 20 years in. He was still a young man when he retired and decided he wanted to go into law enforcement.”

Bill was one of the many officers being honored.

“He and Sheriff Hadaway went out to serve divorce papers,” Oglesby said. “They knocked on the door, bill was standing in front of the door. The woman came to do the door and the guy walked up behind her and stuck his pistol under her arm and shot and killed him, and he bled out right there.”

Oglesby then stepped in to fill Bill’s shoes at the Pope County Sheriff’s Department. He said it’s ceremonies like this one that help keep his memory alive.

“I never forget,” Oglesby said. “I think about it a lot, you know the guys that I mentioned, I think about a lot, but it just brings memories back stronger.”

This was the third year the historic site held the honor ceremony, and organizers for the event say they plan to have a fourth one next year during police week.