WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A memorial service was held by the Wichita Falls Police Department on National Peace Officers Memorial Day to recognize and remember seven officers who have fallen in the line of duty.
National Peace Officers Memorial Day was proclaimed by President Kennedy back in 1962, with the calendar week in which May 15 falls proclaimed as National Police Week, and one day during police week is for memorial services to recognize and remember our fallen officers.
Here in Wichita Falls, an annual memorial service is held at the Memorial Plaque, with the intention of ensuring that no officer is ever forgotten.
“Having a memorial service every year helps us to recognize those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in what we do,” Sgt. Charlie Eipper, WFPD Public Information Officer, said. “We know that that risk is always out there, and for those who actually took that risk and lost their lives while protecting and serving the community, we believe they’ve earned that, so we need to remember them. We would hope the same would be for us.”
The Wichita Falls Police Department has had seven officers lose their lives in the line of duty: Lieutenant Walter Tommy Collins, Officer Walter Edwin Rappolee, Jr., Officer Robert Edward Fellows, Officer Russell C. Scott, Special Officer Robert Franklin Fennell, Officer Charles Sleigh Carlisle, and Police Officer Hugh Sevier Fuller.
During the memorial, the families of the fallen officers were also honored, given flowers, and a bell was rung during the naming of each fallen officer.
“These services have a special meaning to me,” Manuel Borrego, WFPD Chief, said. “It’s not just a name on a monument. So when we have a fallen officer, we understand the importance of this dedication and his or her commitment to their community. That they’re willing to put their life on the line. “
Borrego, who personally knew Lieutenant Walt Tommy Collins, added that these kinds of memorial services really open the minds and hearts of the community because however people know the fallen officers, their legacies will be honored, and they will never be forgotten.
For more information on the seven fallen officers, you can visit the Officer Down Memorial Page here.