Miss. Senator Commends All Law Enforcement for Dedication, Bravery

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today issued a statement commemorating Mississippi police officers who died in the line of service in 2019 as part of National Police Week commemorations, which have been disrupted this year by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hyde-Smith remembered the four Mississippi officers, who were memorialized this year on the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C., and in an online candlelight vigil on Wednesday.  The officers include Biloxi Police Officer Robert McKeithen, Lowndes County Constable Willie West, Chickasaw County Deputy Sheriff Jeremy Voyles, Panola County Constable Eula Ray “Raye” Hawkins.

“I join the families, fellow officers, and communities of these four Mississippi officers, who dedicated themselves to bravely serving the people of my state, in honoring their lives with a deep sense of gratitude for their service,” said Hyde-Smith, chairman of the Senate Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee which oversees the U.S. Capitol Police.

Hyde-Smith also praised the work of all law enforcement officers.

“My admiration for the law enforcement community, who remain deeply dedicated despite the dangers of their noble profession, knows no bounds.  We acknowledge their brave service and fortify our support of their work to serve and protect our families and our communities,” Hyde-Smith said.

The Mississippi Senator also noted the passing of officers who did not die in the line of duty, but whose contributions are nonetheless worth commemorating.  She cited Lawrence County Deputy Sheriff Robert Ainsworth, who with his wife Paula, was among the 14 Mississippians who died during the Easter Sunday tornados this spring.

“My heart aches any time a law enforcement officer is lost, whether it’s in the line of duty or not.  Their names may not grace a national memorial but their service still merits recognition,” Hyde-Smith said.  “In his last act, Deputy Ainsworth, a Marine Corps veteran who died trying to shield his wife from harm, demonstrated the selflessness and bravery that is characteristic of so many in law enforcement.”

Hyde-Smith’s National Police Week statement for the Congressional Record is available here.

The Senate’s National Police Week Resolution, which Hyde-Smith cosponsored, is available here.

Press Release