Bell County Sheriff's Department Foundation unveils new fallen peace officer memorial statue

Posted at 7:28 PM, Dec 09, 2017
and last updated 2018-11-03 15:20:03-04

The Bell County Sheriff's Department Foundation unveiled a new statue outside the Bell County Justice Center Saturday. 

Twenty-two names were called out and remembered. The names of men and women who died honoring their oath to protect and serve. 

"I want to encourage you to be a first responder... and you know how you can be a first responder for these men and women behind me? Praying for them every day," State Representative Hugh Shine said. 

Since his election five years ago, Bell County Sheriff Eddy Lange has made the Bell County Sheriff's Department Foundation and the fallen peace officer memorial a top priority. 

"I wanted to build a monument to honor all, now 22, officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty in Bell County's history," Sheriff Eddy Lange said. 

"It's just very heartwarming to know that he's being remembered in this way along with all the other troopers and policemen that have been killed in this county through the years," Patsy Pleasant, the daughter of a fallen Trooper said. 

"Grief is forever... it never goes away," Bethelline Schaefer, Pleasant's sister, added. 

"Today is his birthday. Lee did, he passed away doing what he loved. He loved being a police officer, and he loved Little River. And, I don't think he would've been happier going any other way than on the job," Mary Dixon, the widow of Little River Police Chief Lee Dixon said. 

The last name to be called was that of Trooper Thomas Nipper.

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. Our heroes pay the ultimate sacrifice and they deserve to never be forgotten," Holly Dinwiddie, the widow of a fallen Killeen Police Officer Charles Dinwiddie, said. 

And now, thanks to County Commissioner Tim Brown's bronze fallen officer memorial statue... they never will be. 

The memorial statue is the first part of the larger memorial plaza at the Bell County Justice Center to be completed. 

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