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Durant Police Department ceremony honors fallen Bryan Co. law enforcement officers

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 10:23 PM CDT
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DURANT, Oklahoma (KXII) -The Durant Police department hosted their 9th annual memorial service honoring Bryan County law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty Thursday.

On this, National Police Week, members from different Bryan County law enforcement agencies read off the names of officers and law enforcement agents killed in the line of duty from the late 1800′s until today.

“There’s a person behind the badge it’s not just a badge and they’re not just an officer,” said Cassidy McDaris, who’s brother Jared Taylor was killed in the line of duty January 14, 2020. “Everyday we would pray that he would be okay and it’s still hard without him here.”

Taylor was responding to 9-1-1 call that day when his patrol car hit a tree on Old Highway 70 that day, killing him.

“It’s their choice that they’re out here serving their community, even if there are community members that don’t support them,” McDaris said.

Members from police departments throughout Bryan County, the FBI, OSBI, OHP, SOSU Campus Police and Bryan County Sheriff’s Office were in attendance at the ceremony that had to be cancelled last year because of the pandemic.

As bag pipes rang and families told stories of losing their loved ones in blue fellow law enforcement officers hung their heads in remembrance.

Shelley Russell’s son Nicholas Dees was killed in 2015 while responding to a crash on I-40.

Dees was investigating a crash along with another trooper just east of Shawnee, when a man from Arkansas hit and killed him after sending his 189th text on the road.

“I know he would think ‘I was doing my job mom.’ And if he was going to die he wanted to die that way,” Russell said.

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