At noon on Wednesday, law enforcement officers and their families gathered in the Superior Courtroom at the Anson County Courthouse to honor their fallen brothers and sisters. As part of National Police Week, the Anson County Sheriff’s Office sponsored a law enforcement memorial service to honor officers who have paid the ultimate price.
“The purpose is to take a few moments to say ‘thank you’ to those individuals who each day, risk their lives to make our cities and county a safer place to live,” Sheriff Tommy Allen said. “And to also recognize the families of and the memory of those officers who gave the ultimate sacrifice to this county… those officers in Anson County who died in the line of duty.”
Pastor Benny Clodfelter of First United Methodist Church in Wadesboro led a benediction, adding, “It’s not how these officers died, it’s how they lived.”
The families of two fallen Anson County officers were in attendance for the ceremony — the families of Deputy William Kress Horne, who was shot and killed in the line of duty Dec. 22, 1984, and Chief Deputy Jesse Lee Pratt, who was killed in an automobile accident Sept. 14, 2001.
Eight Anson County law enforcement officers have been killed over the past 100 years. The first American law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty was in 1791 in New York. Most recently, Officer Stephen Arkell of Brentwood, N.H., was killed on Monday, Sheriff Allen said.
“These officers have given their lives so that your and my children might wake up to find their neighborhoods a little safer,” he added. “Once you become a law enforcement officer, you never regret that decision.”
Also as part of the service, a memorial slideshow was shown to remember those eight officers killed in Anson County — James Marion Sings, killed in 1910; Mattie George Faulkner, killed in 1926; George I. Thompson, killed in 1929; Selby Harney Sr., killed in 1973; Gilbert Dean, killed in 1977; William Kress Horne, killed in 1984; Jesse Lee Pratt, killed in 2001; Josh W. Oliver, killed in 2004.