Oklahoma Woman Honors Fallen Officers With Special Memorial
MAYES COUNTY, Oklahoma - A member of the Mayes County Sheriff's Office wants to honor officers who died in the line of duty this year, so she created a memorial that includes all their names.
Some of them hit close to home.
"I'm just completely blown away that someone in our department would take the initiative to do something like this," said Major Rod Howell.
Howell is proud of his co-worker Elizabeth Henson, the dispatch supervisor at the sheriff’s office. She wanted to do something special to honor fallen comrades.
Henson said it’s "something that I think all of us in law enforcement we think about it and it's always in our minds, it's always in our hearts, especially this time of year, with the holidays."
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When you walk down the hall, you can see Elizabeth's handy work: note cards with the names of 117 officers killed this year, as well as 24 K-9 officers. No one on the list is from Mayes County, but Elizabeth said that makes no difference.
"It doesn't matter where you are in this country even in the world law enforcement, we're a family," Henson said.
She put up the memorial just a few days ago and has already added three names. One of those is Officer Stephen Carr from Arkansas. He was sitting in his patrol car on Saturday when a man shot and killed him.
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"It really is like a family member, you've never met them before, you never will meet them, but it still hurts, it still hurts like it's a family member," said Henson.
Another name on the wall was Pawnee County’s Undersheriff Monty Johnson. He was on duty this February when troopers said a pickup truck crossed the center line and crashed into his patrol cruiser head-on. Elizabeth hopes the names and the stories behind them honor those who were lost.
"I think it's important to have their names if that's the least we can do just have their names on the wall so people can look at it and just read their names and know them," Henson said.
Elizabeth said she plans to make a more permanent memorial to keep up year-round.