Americus hosts first of its kind Peace Officer Memorial Program Tuesday

On Tuesday, Americus held their first annual Peace Officer Memorial Program.

Photo: Kailey McCarthy

For the first time ever, a ceremony was held in Americus Tuesday afternoon in honor of National Peace Officer's Memorial Day.

Americus Police, the Sumter County Sheriff's Office and Georgia Southwestern State University honored law enforcement officers who gave their lives in the line of duty.

FOX 31 spoke with the mothers of two fallen officers who say holding ceremonies like these help keep their sons memories alive.

Law enforcement officers from across Americus showed their support on Tuesday in honor of the seven brave officers who gave their lives while in the line of duty.

"The lives, the ultimate sacrifice they gave you know, that's the job we sign up for but at the same time, we've never forgotten them and we continue to remember them," said Sumter County Sheriff's Office Chief deputy Eric Bryant.

Sumter County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Eric Bryant calls the men and women in blue his family, a group of people who care for one another and the community they serve.

"We stand together as a group of brothers and sisters here to provide public safety somewhere where people would want to come and live and to share," said Bryant.

Sharron Johnson's son, Jody Smith was killed back in December of 2016 while responding to a domestic dispute.

She says losing her son never gets easier but she's honored to stand here for him today.

"I'm blessed to stand here as an officer and I'm more so blessed to stand here in honor of my Jody Carl Smith," said Johnson.

Johnson and six other families placed a carnation on three different wreaths in honor of their fallen heroes.

Among them was Janice Smarr, Nicholas Smarr's mother. She says this violence must end.

"It's just a sad, sad world we live in today when people start aiming at law enforcement, they really just need to let law enforcement do their job," said Janice Smarr.

But the sacrifices, bravery and selflessness of her and Sharron's sons will never be forgotten.

"Everybody in this town knows Nick Smarr and Jody, they know their smiles, they know their craziness, I mean they will forever be missed by everybody in this town," said Janice Smarr.

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