Fallen Officers Alan Ragsdale, Lawrence Bromley and Luke Hinson were all honored during the 18th annual police memorial ceremony held May 16, during National Police Week.
Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week is an observance in the United States that pays tribute to the local, state, and federal peace officers who have died, or who have been disabled, in the line of duty.
Opening the service with prayer was Chris Bean. Mrs. Howard’s fourth grade class led the Pledge of Allegiance and Kim Livingston sang the National Anthem.
The ceremony was started in 2001 to honor Hohenwald policeman Alan Ragsdale who was killed in the line of duty. Each year, the Alan Ragsdale Memorial Award is presented in honor of someone for their caring contribution to law enforcement and the citizens of Hohenwald. The first recipient of this award was Joan Cothran.
This year’s award was presented to Jeanne Jones, in memory of her late husband City Mayor Donald Ray Jones. It was the first time an award was given posthumously. Mr. Jones worked in law enforcement and dispatch from 1978 to 1983, was the city building inspector from 1996 to 2003, and served as city mayor from 2007 to 2011.
“Don loved Lewis County. He really loved Hohenwald. Loved politics but hated being a politician. He hated being mayor,” said speaker Benny Pace. “He thought people would love you if you treated them right.” Mr. Pace went on to tell of Don’s ability to fall asleep at any given moment and his genius status with numbers. “He loved showing off. I remember one time I read the prices off of a long grocery receipt, and by the end, he could tell me the sum at the bottom.” He went on to tell stories of the years he spent with his best friend, brother and best man.
Danny McKnight also spoke highly of the former City Mayor. “His number one agenda was to love others and for others to love him.” Speaker Tom Rippeto Sr. complimented his work ethic by saying, “He did his job as he did everything: with dedication, with love for fellow man and with fun. Don would be the first to thank, praise and pray for your safety.”
“Last Call” (Shown at the top of this article) was shown on screen for viewers, and the audience listened as Alan Ragsdale’s final call was played over the loud speaker. Officers performed a 21 gun salute, Taps was played by Chief Livingston, and bag pipes played Amazing Grace as the service was dismissed.
Members of the Hohenwald Police Department gathered for a photo Thursday, May 16, 2019 following a Police Memorial service in recognition of National Police Week held at the Hohenwald Fire Department. Pictured left, K-9 Officer Jordan Alkire, Patrol Officer Bucky Isbell (part time), Patrol Officer Shane McKnight, SRO James Howard, Captain Earl Taylor, Assistant Chief Kevin Carroll, Clerk MaKenzie Carroll, Chief of Police Sam Livingston, Sergeant Michael Dunn, Patrol Officer Chris Himes and Patrol Officer Brent Bridges.