A recent event reminded us how much we value our area law enforcement officers.
We shouldn’t have to be reminded, but like a lot of other people, we often forget how dedicated these individuals are and how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect our families.
And sacrifice — the ultimate sacrifice — was what this event was all about.
The 17th annual Denton County Law Enforcement Memorial Service, hosted by the Denton County Law Enforcement Association recently at the Denton County Courthouse on McKinney Street, commemorated National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day.
Sheriff William Travis read the roll call of the six men who have been killed in the line of duty in Denton County. Some of the names, like that of jailer Floyd Coberly, who was killed in February 1897, may be unfamiliar to many of today’s residents, but that doesn’t make his sacrifice any less important.
We need to make sure that Coberly and each of the other five men honored during the ceremony — Special Deputy Robert Parsons, killed in 1925; sheriff’s Deputy Carl Garrett, killed in 1934; Texas Ranger Bobby Paul Doherty, killed in 1978; State Trooper Hollis Stephen Lacy, killed in 1980; and sheriff’s Sgt. Bill Thurston, killed in 1986 — are never forgotten.
Ceremonies like this one are designed to make sure that these names and the sacrifice each man made are not lost to the sands of time. As each name was read, a single black rose was placed in a memorial wreath — but more importantly, the story of each fallen officer was told.
The stories should be told, and retold, and we hope that future ceremonies will serve to remind all residents of Denton County officers’ dedication to duty.
We also join Johnny Peters, first vice president of the Denton County Law Enforcement Association, in hoping that the list remains at six names.
“1986 was our most recent death. I am very thankful and hope it stays that way,” Peters said.
But as we remember those who have given their lives, we should also make sure that we don’t forget those who serve today. The men and women who protect Denton County deserve our respect and our thanks.
We hope that you will remember our area peace officers during the days ahead and tell them how much you appreciate what they do. It doesn’t take much — a kind word in passing, a smile or a simple thank you is all that’s needed.
They do a good job, and they do that job for us — let’s make sure we let them know it’s appreciated.