The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 41 held a law enforcement memorial service on Monday night where they honored the fallen law enforcement officials who have served Williamson County.
The service was held at 6 p.m. at the Franklin Theatre and saw representatives from local and state law enforcement agencies including the Williamson County Sheriff's Office, Franklin Police Department, Brentwood Police Department, Nolensville Police Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol, as well as members of the Franklin Fire Department and the families of the fallen.
The service included remarks by FOP Lodge 41 President Andy Green and keynote speaker Tipton County Deputy and Court Administrator Scottie Delashmit, who also currently serves as the state FOP president.
“We can talk about how everybody passes away, but I’d rather talk about how they lived,” Delashmit said. “You go to memorials, you go to funerals, you hear how this officer was a little league coach, this officer played high school football, this officer sang in church -- we need to remember the good things.
“Yes, it’s tragic when an officer passes away, but let's not focus on how they died, we need to focus on how they lived, we need to focus on their memories, we need to focus on their families, we need to focus on the good things, because anybody can stand around and say, ‘We lost a good man,” Delashmit continued. “What made him good? If it was a good woman, what made her good? Don’t let their memories die.”
Delashmit's remarks were followed by the traditional rose ceremony, which saw members of various families or law enforcement agencies place a red rose in a blue wreath in honor of each of the seven men who have died in the line of duty in Williamson County.
Those men include Williamson County Sheriff Milton Harvey Stephens, End of Watch (EOW) 1919; Williamson County Constable Samuel Claybrooks Locke, EOW 1925; Williamson County Constable Andrew Mattison Sullivan, EOW 1933; Williamson County Constable Clarence Wesley Reed, EOW 1944; Williamson County Deputy Sheriff John Morris Heithcock, EOW 1972; Spring Hill Police Corporal Jeremy Caleb McLaren, EOW 2010; and Brentwood Police Officer Destin Scott Legieza, EOW 2020.
The memorial was concluded with a procession of family members and law enforcement members down Main Street to the town square led by a Bagpipist Steve Quinn, Brentwood Police Department honor guard and WCSO deputies who performed a 21 gun salute followed by an EOW call for each fallen man.
During the EOW call, the Franklin square was silent except for the names called over the radio, with members of the public who lined the streets turning their attention to the memorial as blue lights covered those in attendance.
"For me to see the townspeople, people who are here maybe just visiting to stop and look, and some of our members who have come from other states and say, 'I was blown away, they don't do anything like this where I'm from,' some of the guys from California, from New York, from all the various different places where maybe they don't have these kinds of things," FOP Lodge 41 President Andy Green said. "So Williamson County is special, Tennessee is special."