Fort Smith Elementary School Honors Fallen Deputy With Memorial Plaque

FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Students at Fairview Elementary School honored fallen Sebastian County Sheriff's Office Cpl. Bill Cooper Wednesday (Nov. 2) with a memorial under the school's flag pole.

"He did so much for this school," Student Council President Belle Petrucci said. "He always helped out with everything whenever anybody needed it, and he's a very appreciated man here."

Cooper spoke at the school's career day each year and helped plan the 4th grade field trip to the Sebastian County Sheriff's Office.

"He did our Spring Carnival, and he came and finger printed at least 20 students," Petrucci said. "I think he fingerprinted me once, and he helped out with the Step Out and Speak Out block parties."

The Fairview Student Council said the ceremony was bigger than they expected with guests such as Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck and other Sebastian County deputies.

"I'm so proud of us," Petrucci said. "Everything turned out perfect. We practiced over and over again. Everything turned out amazing and great and I'm just so happy that we got to be the first people that got to do something like this for Fairview."

The students said Cooper left a lasting impression on them.

"I'm hoping [the memorial] reminds them that there are officers out there who risk their lives to protect us," Petrucci said. "I hope that they don't forget that because it's such an important lesson in life. It's so important. I hope when they walk by it to go home or to get in their car, I hope they always remember this. I hope this is something they never forget."