Tulsa Police Honor Fellow Officers Killed In The Line Of Duty

Saturday, May 7th 2016, 1:30 pm
By: News On 6

Members of the Tulsa Police Department and their families took time Saturday morning to remember their fellow officers who have been killed since 1917.

The department held a memorial service at the police academy at 6066 East 66th Street North to honor the 39 Tulsa Police officers who have been killed in the line of duty.  

The service followed a candlelight vigil at the Tulsa Police Memorial at the academy Friday evening.

The department says the service acknowledges the commitment of every officer who takes the oath of office.

5/6/2016 Related Story: Tulsa Police Holds Vigil To Remember Fallen Officers

On Saturday, 39 men and women killed in the line of duty were memorialized.

Every Tulsa police officer killed in the line of duty gets a special place at a special memorial site.

And every year, fellow officers and family members honor their memories.

Christie Simpson and her family always make it a point to attend the service...

A driver shot and killed her late husband Gus Spanos during a traffic stop in 1993.

Support for Spanos' family and Simpson has never wavered.

"It's been 23 years and there's still -- I walk through here and I get hug after hug after hug, so it's a big family," Simpson said.

Simpson's seen attendance grow at these memorials.

Retired Officer Gary Johnson still makes it a point to return and remember his fallen brothers and sisters.          

“I think is very important not only for the city, but for the police department," he said.

The service has a special meaning for Corporal Gene Watkins, who was shot in the leg last August while serving a warrant.

Today, he represented all the officers injured on the job.

“Each day, no one knows what's going to hold for them, but it's even more so with a police man because of the things they will encounter during the day,” Watkins said. “I'm fortunate that I'm standing here today, but I'm also thinking about the one's we lost and unfortunately gave the ultimate sacrifice."

The next step is for the Honor Guard to take flags and bring them to the final resting places of the fallen officers.

A full national ceremony will be held on May 15.