Resolution In Tennessee State Legislature Honors Fallen Officers

Posted at 5:03 PM, Sep 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-18 19:06:00-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The shooting of the Kentucky State Trooper hit close to home in Tennessee.

Ironically, a media conference recognizing fallen officers was already scheduled for Monday.

Tennessee lawmakers have introduced a resolution in the state legislature.

Republican Senator Jim Tracy of Shelbyville and Democratic Representative Harold Love of Nashville have been sponsors of the resolution.

"We're here today to recognize these brave men and women that put their lives on the line to protect and serve us in Tennessee every day,” Senator Jim Tracy said. “We're proud of them and we thank them for their service."

Senator Tracy and Representative Love had no idea the resolution would be overshadowed by another tragedy.

You could see it on the faces of police chiefs and sheriffs there to support their resolution.

"This is a tough time for law enforcement," Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott said.

Kentucky State Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder was the 86th officer killed this year in the line of duty.

It's the second officer fatality suffered by the same Kentucky State Police post in three months.

In June, 23-year-old Trooper Eric Chrisman lost control of his vehicle while responding to a reckless driving complaint and crashed into an oncoming tractor trailer.

"I got a call last night from Colonel Brewer in Kentucky informing me that one of his troopers had been shot and killed," Colonel Trott said about Trooper Ponder’s death.

After Colonel Trott said he got the midnight call he answered with air support from his own agency.

Two THP helicopters flew to Western Kentucky to search for and help pin down the shooter.

"We worry about our officers day and night,” Colonel Trott said. “It's our worst nightmare to have something like this happen, and Colonel Brewer has had it happen a couple of times in the last few months."

Officers have been killed recently in Louisiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Memphis Officer Shawn Michael Bolton was killed August 1.

"Now, officer Bolton is a guardian to all,” one Memphis Officer said during the service. “God Bless. Rest easy sheep dog, and we will take it from here."

After all those tragedies, Tennessee State lawmakers said they believe now is the time to say thank you for the sacrifice, even if it's just in a few words.

“When we have law enforcement officers out there putting their lives on the line I think it's important for the legislature to take time to say, ‘We appreciate you. We thank you for your sacrifice and protecting our safety,’" Representative Love said.

The resolution has been set to be voted on in January.