Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

May 16, 2013

Nearly 30 attend police memorial ceremony

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — Nearly 30 people saluted or held their hands over their hearts Wednesday as the Jacksonville Police Department's flag was placed at half-staff in honor of the four local police officers who have died in the line of duty since 1883.

Jacksonville Police Sgt. Jason Price stood outside in the drizzling rain as he lowered the flag. Inside, a a somber and reflective group that included several police officers, some public officials and firefighters stood absolutely still as they paid tribute.

The special ceremony that prompted the group Wednesday to pack into the lobby of the police department, 210 W. Larissa Street to pay tribute was held in recognition of Peace Officer Memorial Week.

Jacksonville Police Chaplain Police Chaplain Donnie Hammock said many officers outside Jacksonville have died in the line of duty over the past year.

“This is a dangerous job these people are doing and we need to keep them in our prayers,” Hammock said.

Jacksonville Mayor Kenneth Melvin urged those in attendance to remember family members and the survivors.

“I pray we won't have any more on our list next year,” the mayor said.

Police Chief Reece Daniel said it is a tragedy that four men who died in the line of duty in Jacksonville didn't get to see their children grow up or grow any older with their wives.

“They had a profound sense of duty,” the chief said.

These fallen Jacksonville officers include:

• Marshal William A. Clark, who was killed in a gunfight in downtown Jacksonville on Aug. 30, 1883.

• Night patrolman Harry Floyd Hooker, who was shot by an unknown assailant by the train tracks on July 22, 1913.

• Patrol Officer Roscoe Lee, who was killed by a shotgun on June 30, 1979.

• Patrol Officer Randy Zimmerman, who was fatally shot with a .357 caliber handgun on Oct. 2, 1992.