32nd annual Peace Officers Memorial Service in Sevier County. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)
SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Police officers gathered in Sevier County to honor fellow officers and remember those who lost their life while protecting us.
The Peace Officers Memorial Service was held at the Sevier County Courthouse on Wednesday, by the Smoky Mountain FOP #31 and the Southern States PBA. The service paid tribute to Jerry Huskey, a Gatlinburg Police Officer killed in 1975.
Huskey's nephew, Mike, was the guest speaker and told the crowd that he hopes people will pay more respect to officers who are serving.
"They are often not appreciated for the work that they do. They truly are the thin blue line between civilization and chaos," said Mike Huskey. "And I understand how difficult both are. How difficult it is for their families. A lot of times the officers are gone at night, With the military the soldiers are gone for months at the time."
Huskey volunteers as a police officer and also serves in the military. He says he notices just how different he's treated depending on the uniform he wears.
Officers who organized the event say the appreciation for what they do goes a long way for them and their families.
"Support their families, and let the officers out here know that we're here for them," said Johnny Bohanan, Pres. Southern States PBA.
"You don't know the outcome of every call and you have to be prepared for everything. and make sure you get home to your family," said Chuck McDonald, Pres, FOP #31 Auxiliary.
The FBI says 47 police officers were killed in the line of duty last year in the United States.