Two fallen police officers in Mount Airy will be remembered during a program scheduled Monday in conjunction with National Law Enforcement Week.
It involves a memorial service that will begin at noon in front of City Hall on South Main Street, sponsored by the group Friends of the Mount Airy Police Department.
The public is invited to attend the service along with law enforcement officers and municipal employees.
During the program, city Police Chief Dale Watson will honor the memory of two Mount Airy officers who were killed in the line of duty.
They include Henry Dow Kennedy, who died on July 17, 1946, and Clinton Monroe Boggs, Feb. 25, 1971.
Kennedy, 36, was the victim of the first fatal accident involving an officer in the history of the Mount Airy Police Department. A father of four children who had been on the force for almost two years, Kennedy died from injuries received when his car went out of control and struck an embankment while chasing a man thought to be hauling moonshine.
Boggs, a detective with the department, was shot and killed on the night of Feb. 25, 1971 on the side of U.S. 52 at the exit ramp to N.C. 89 after stopping a vehicle he suspected of being stolen from a local car dealership. Four bullets struck Boggs, who had joined the Mount Airy Police Department in 1966.
The twin bridges on U.S. 52 near the spot where Boggs was killed were named in his memory in 2009.
Remembering the contributions of officers such as Boggs and Kennedy is a main purpose of Monday’s event, according to Cathy Stevens, who chairs the governing board of Friends of the Mount Airy Police Department.
“I think it’s important,” Stevens said Friday of such services, “just so people won’t forget what law enforcement sacrifices — putting their lives on the line on a daily basis.”
Other program highlights
Monday’s event also will include:
• Mayor David Rowe presenting a city government proclamation recognizing National Law Enforcement Week.
• Remarks by Walter Jarvis Jr., a member of the board of Friends of the Mount Airy Police Department.
• Comments from Jim Armbrister, a city commissioner who is retired from the force.
• A responsive reading by police Chaplain Gray Shelton which will conclude the service. Titled “We Remember Them,” it honors the lives of all law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.
Stevens said much credit is due to David Beal for organizing Monday’s program. Beal is a former police chief, city commissioner, clerk of Superior Court and State Bureau of Investigation agent who devotes some of his retirement time to serving as an adviser to the Friends of the Mount Airy Police Department.
That group was formed in June 2011 by former local resident Melanie Jones and others who were inspired to do so after completing the city’s annual Citizens Police Academy program.
Among the support provided by the Friends of the Mount Airy Police Department is holding fundraisers to obtain equipment for the force which is not provided through normal budgetary channels.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.