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Police Officers Honor Those Who Died In The Line Of Duty

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- Police agencies throughout Northwest Arkansas gathered in Fayetteville on Monday (May 15) to honor officers who were killed in the line of duty in the area.

Fayetteville Deputy Chief of Police Mike Reynolds said they have had a lot of close calls, but the last death was in 1998.

The death of Yell County Deputy Kevin Mainhart was on the mind of some of the officers at the memorial.

Reynolds said it is a somber time for agencies in Arkansas as they think about Mainhart's family.

He said when something like this happens, it puts what they do into perspective.

The biggest threat he said any officer faces today is the unknown.

“It’s the unknown of the person that you’re pulling over for a minor traffic infraction," Reynolds said. "It’s the danger of going to a domestic violence situation, domestic abuse and just not knowing. So, it’s the unknown that we face day in and day out.”

Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder said their job has changed since he first donned a badge.

He said it seems like police have become targets and that danger is lurking around every corner, but he said there is something the public can do to help.

“These guys get beat down mentally, they get beat down physically and at times they think no one really appreciates the job they do," Helder said. "I know that’s not true but I would say to the community if you have the opportunity, just say thanks.”

Reynolds read the name of each officer who died in the line of duty in Northwest Arkansas.

He said he was honored to have the responsibility to keep the memories of these officers alive.