In downtown Tyler, people young and old turned out to thank those officers and their families that made the ultimate sacrifice. Since 1940, eight Smith County Officers have died in the line of duty. People stood by on the square and listened as their names were read.
"We do it every year to recognize the fallen officers that were killed in the line of duty as well as pay our respects to those that are out there everyday," said Officer Don Martin, Tyler Police Department. This year, a new name was added to Smith County's Peace Officers Monument, DPS Trooper Jimmy Ray Carty, Jr... of Grand Saline. Trooper Carty died last May from injuries he suffered in a training exercise. Before going into the DPS Academy, he worked for the Smith County Sheriff's Department.
"It's just an honor," said Christy Carty, Jimmy's wife. "I mean it's sad, but it's an honor and a privilege that his name is up there." Children from First Baptist Church and Jones Elementary School showed their support today.
"We're trying to teach them that police officers are their friends, and they are here to help them and to not be scared of them," said Linda Swindle, Jones Elementary teacher. It's a day to thank those that serve, and honor those that risked their lives to help others.
"When my children get old and married, they can bring their children and see their Grandpa's name," said Christy Carty. Along with the eight Smith County officers' names, 14 names were read to recognize officers across the state who died in the past year. Those officers come from around the state and from every law enforcement agency.