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Newton County Sheriff's Office holds memorial service for fallen - KOAM TV 7

Newton County Sheriff's Office holds memorial service for fallen officers nationwide

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Newton County, Missouri - Gearing up for Memorial Day weekend, the Newton County Sheriff's Office held a memorial service tonight to honor fallen officers nationwide.

Those who work in law enforcement say they approach every day knowing tomorrow is not guaranteed.

And there is no such thing as a routine call.

For any call they get, could quickly turn into a life-threatening situation.

"It can happen any day, at any time, in any circumstance," said Captain Richard Leavens, Newton County Sheriff's Office.

Although it has been nearly 80 years since an officer was killed in Newton County, area law enforcement officials say they are compelled to honor the 167 officers who have died in the line of duty nationwide during the past year, especially the lives of the eight officers closest to our area.

"If you remember the name, you remember the person," said Bill Doubek, chaplain. "That's what we want to do, is remember the names."

Officials say recent high-profile officer-involved shootings have created some higher scrutiny from the public.

"Of course, we're living in a time right now where there's a lot of controversy over law enforcement," Leavens said. "I think locally people understand law enforcement a lot better than maybe some of them in larger cities."

While controversial cases often steal the spotlight, many in attendance say the officers who sacrifice their lives do not always receive the recognition deserved.

"There are a lot of fallen officers that we don't personally know," said David Kennedy, chief of Neosho Police."As a law enforcement community, it doesn't matter. We're all still one family. When an officer gets shot or killed in the line of duty, even injured in the line of duty, it still affects individuals. It affects their families. It affects their kids."

"They pay the price," Doubek said. "They pay the price."

Fallen K-9 officers were also honored tonight.
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