A member of the MDOC Honor Guard presents a rose and a salute to families of employees who have passed.
JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Corrections officers and other employees were remembered Thursday in a special service at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility.
Of the 23 honored, nine were in the line of duty and the others were active-duty employees who have died during the current administration.
A yellow rose was given in remembrance of each employee. The service also included a 21-gun salute and the playing of “Taps" on bagpipes.
Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, whose long public service includes serving in the U.S. Army Reserve, remembered the 23 and is grateful that Mississippi Corrections hasn’t lost any officers in the line of duty in recent years thanks to safety measures.
“We’re blessed, thank goodness, that we haven’t lost an officer since 2015. That’s a tribute to the officers who work here and to the training they get here,” Lt. Gov. Hosemann said. “Every day they come out here and do some very difficult work so I think today, while we look back all the way to 2015 to the last [fallen officer] six or seven years ago, we still need to come out every time and tell them we care about them. They’re state employees, they work for us, and they do work we really need to see.”
Commissioner Burl Cain thanked Lt. Gov. Hosemann for his support of corrections in the Legislature and for everyone’s participation in the memorial service. “To the families, you have our condolences. To everyone who came here today to pay respects, we appreciate you being with us,” Commissioner Cain said.
The ceremony joins the National Peace Officers Memorial Day established by President John F. Kennedy in 1962. May 15 is the official day, but law enforcement agencies nationwide hold their own services throughout the month.
MDOC’s memorial service was part of a week of ongoing activities that have included staff appreciation and recognition awards, luncheon, health fair, at CMCF, and similar activities at the state’s other correctional facilities.