Richmond County honors fallen officers

Photos by William R. Toler | Daily Journal

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ROCKINGHAM–Shots rang out in salute as the U.S. flag was lowered to half-staff outside the old Richmond County courthouse before noon Thursday.

Lawmen from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, Rockingham and Hamlet police departments and the N.C. Highway Patrol gathered to remember their brothers and sisters in blue who have been lost in the line of duty at the annual Peace Officers Memorial Observance.

Hamlet Mayor Bill Bayless, a former state trooper, read of statistics on how many officers are killed, some ambushed. So far this year, none have been from North Carolina.

“As most people run from danger, law enforcement officers run to danger,” said Rockingham Police Chief Billy Kelly.

According to 1st Sgt. Joheliah Wilson, recruitment in the field is down, as less people are putting on a badge because the feel its more like “putting on a bull’s-eye.”

Wilson also quoted from Pslams 82:

How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.
Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.”