County honors officers killed in line of duty

Published: May. 10, 2023 at 8:40 PM CDT
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ASH FLAT, Ark. (KAIT) - During National Police Week, many law enforcement agencies nationwide will honor those who died while serving in the line of duty.

Sharp County held an event outside its county courthouse on Wednesday, May 10, to honor those fallen officers.

Eight total officers were remembered at the ceremony.

Of those eight, seven were officers that had died while serving in 2022, the other being the last Sharp County Officer to lose their life in the line of duty.

Cave City Police Officer Jeff Richardson died in a 1993 car crash while assisting a sheriff’s deputy during a pursuit.

“It’s been 30 years after his passing, yet they still think of him in such a way that he’s had such an inspiration in the community that I was blessed enough to receive a medal of valor on his behalf,” said Richardson’s son, Craig.

Craig Richardson was only five years old when his father died. Now, he’s a grown man accepting a medal of valor in his father’s name.

Chief Deputy Bart Simpson, who also serves as the president of the Arkansas Fraternal Order of Police, said other officers must care for those families left behind by the tragedy.

“We all know that every day we get up may be our last, we may not come home,” Simpson said. “Unfortunately, when that happens, we as the blue family pick up each other and are always there for each other no matter what.”

Simpson explained from the stories he’s heard, he knew Officer Richardson was ready to help at a moment’s notice.

“He was always willing to assist. He made the ultimate sacrifice doing exactly that. Assisting another agency.”

District 2 State Representative Trey Steimel, the guest speaker at the ceremony, commended law enforcement officers across the state.

“We can’t thank police officers enough for the service that they do for our communities and our cities.”

Wednesday’s ceremony took place feet away from the already standing memorial for Officer Richardson at the courthouse.