Memorial service honors law enforcement officers killed in line of duty

JACKSON, Tenn. — Law enforcement officers from across West Tennessee gathered Wednesday for an annual ceremony recognizing officers killed in the line of duty.

Madison County Sheriff John Mehr was emotional as he spoke of those being memorialized — some he knew personally.

“I had lots of special connections with several, so that does bring a lot of emotion to me, because I had just talked to some. I was with them right before it happened,” Sheriff Mehr said.

The ceremony included memorials for 25 officers, including Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Matthew Gatti.

Gatti died last week in a car crash on Interstate 40 in west Madison County.

Sheriff Mehr praised the families for their resiliency, and noted how their loved ones gave their lives for a greater cause.

“Thankful for the support of the citizens, because they gave their son, their daughter, their husband or their wife, to serve and protect this great country,” Mehr said.

One of those family members was Shirley Shelton, the aunt of Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Special Agent De’Greaun Frazier.

Frazier was shot and killed in August 2016 in Jackson.

“Very warm, good feeling about it to know that we’ll always call his name for the work that he was so glad to do,” Shelton said.

“They had a calling,” Sheriff Mehr said. “We all had a calling, and that calling was from the Lord, to serve and protect our great nation and our people.”

Trooper Gatti is the most recent officer killed in the line of duty in West Tennessee since Special Agent Frazier’s death.

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