Waco: Ceremony honors officers killed in the line of duty

(Photo by Erin Zeller)
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) The Waco Police Department hosted a Peace Officer Memorial ceremony Thursday morning at Indian Spring Park.

Officers from several area agencies presented the colors and participated in the ceremony honoring law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty.

In 2016, 145 law enforcement officials were killed across the United States, 19 of them in Texas.

The ceremony was led by Waco Police Chief Ryan Holt in part with former Waco Officer Wilburn Willis who spoke about a 1969 shooting in which he was involved in which police Sgt. Donald Basquette was killed.

Willis also spoke about the collaboration between law enforcement agencies in the area.

“We’re like a big family. We are blessed in McLennan County to have the type of law enforcement with the county and all our cities and surrounding cities, we’ve got tremendous people working,” he said.

City Councilman Dillon Meek proclaimed May 14 to May 20, 2017 Peace Officer Memorial Week in Waco.

"In order for cities to be great and communities to be great they have to be safe. So we're standing here on behalf of the city of Waco to express deep gratitude," Meek said.

Names of the public servants who have been killed were read aloud one by one and honored with the ring of a bell.

A rose was placed on the peace officer memorial for each of the fallen officers of Central Texas who died on the force.

“I urge people of Waco to join with the city council, the city staff, and me in honoring and acknowledging the officers who through their courageous deeds, have given their lives during their service to the public,” Meek said.

“They play critical role in protecting our rights and our freedom, and we extend our heartfelt appreciation to these men and women,” he said.