FORT SMITH (KFSM)—The Sebastian County sheriff held a ceremony on Tuesday (March 14) to thank everyone who helped his department get through the loss of one of their own.
“Timing is so important,” Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck said. “Timing heals also, and we're now ready to talk about it.”
Sebastian County Corporal Bill Cooper was ambushed in the line of duty on Aug. 10, 2016. He was responding to a domestic disturbance call in a rural area south of Greenwood shortly after the suspect first started firing at officers. Billy Monroe Jones hit Cooper in the neck. Another bullet grazed Hackett Police Chief Darrell Spells’ head.
“We were attempting to get to Officer Cooper when I was wounded,” Chief Spells said.
He was among several law enforcement agencies Sheriff Hollenbeck honored on Tuesday. Several people with the justice system were also recognized for their assistance.
“It's so important for us to officially say thank you so much for what they've done,” Sheriff Hollenbeck said.
The sheriff also thanked OK Foods for providing food at Cpl. Cooper’s funeral; he thanked the City of Fort Smith for donating Cooper’s cemetery plot and a venue to hold the memorial service. He also thanked the Immaculate Conception School and the Fort Smith School District for their compassion and support.