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Candlelight vigil held Tuesday night for Jefferson Davis County fallen officers

Over 50 people participated in the candlelight vigil in memory of fallen officers from Jefferson Davis County held by the Town of Prentiss Tuesday night.

The vigil was originally scheduled to be held at Prentiss City Hall but was moved to the Ronald W. Jones Memorial Complex due to inclement weather.

Those who were killed in the line of duty in Jefferson Davis County are Prentiss Police Office Ron Jones, Jefferson Davis Sheriff Deputy Tommy Bourne, Jefferson Davis Sheriff Deputy J. P. Rutland and Jefferson Davis Sheriff Deputy Pat Barnes.

Jones was killed in 2001 when he was shot while serving a warrant on Mary St. in Prentiss.

Bourne and Rutland were shot and killed in 1997 by a prisoner while transporting him to Rankin County.

Barnes was killed in a car accident in April while responding to an officer in need.

“As you know, December of this year will mark 20 years since we lost Ron,” said Prentiss Mayor Charley Dumas. “Twenty-four years ago this past February, we lost Tommy and J. P.”

“For those of us who experienced them, these tragedies are always in our minds,  but certainly the events of the past few weeks, losing Deputy Pat Barnes, brought all the memories rushing back for all of us. It has been a difficult journey for everyone involved.”

“We are here tonight not to mourn them, but to give thanks for their service and to honor their sacrifice.”

Bro. Terry Wallace, who serves as the chaplain for the Prentiss Police and Fire Departments, offered some words of inspiration.

Ronald and Donna Jones, parents of fallen officer Ron Jones, were asked to begin the lighting ceremony. The singing of God Bless America concluded the service.

The event was held as part of National Police Week.

In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls, as National Police Week.

Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.

“They are mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, sons and daughters. They are chiefs, sheriffs, constables, deputies, troopers and special agents. They are colleagues, protectors and friends. But there is one word that fits them all…hero. Not because of how they died, but because of how they lived.”

“To all of the survivors who have joined us here tonight, please know that you and your loved one will never be forgotten.”