Memorial service service held to honor fallen officers
Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office and N.C. Highway Patrol Chaplain Dr. John Isenberg prepares to deliver an invocation at the Kinston-Lenoir County Peace Officers Memorial Service Friday. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News
Local law enforcement wanted to show respect to those who literally gave their all to the community.
Friday was the Kinston-Lenoir County Peace Officers Memorial service, held at the Kinston City Council chambers at City Hall. Dr. John Isenberg, Chaplain of the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office and N.C. Highway Patrol, directed Friday’s program, which included a presentation of the Honor Roll by Kinston Police Department Sgt. Kevin Jenkins, a speech from Church of Faith and Deliverance Pastor John Flowers and a posting of the memorial wreath and colors.
“This was something we started in the community three years ago and is a way to honor some of our officers who made such a sacrifice,” LCSO Maj. Ryan Dawson said. “We never want them to be forgotten, and this is a reminder of their amazing service.”
Dawson lost his partner, Det. Allen Pearson, on April 8, 2009, when he was killed in the line of duty and remains the lone LCSO member in the department’s history to do so. The life of Pearson was honored in the service, along with Nash County Sheriff’s Office investigator Warren Lewis, who was killed in Kinston on June 9, 2011.
“I’m really happy they started doing this to bring the branches of law enforcement together and family members to remember the services of these men and women,” Katherine Pearson, Allen’s wife, said. “It’s not just the ones here in Kinston, but across the nation, and we needed something like this.”
KPD Maj. Jenee Spencer has been on the force 26 years and shared similar sentiments, especially knowing so many officers over her career.
“We’ve lost two law enforcement officers in Lenoir County over the past 15 years, and most of us had worked with them,” Spencer said. “This ceremony is important to honor them.”
Kinston Mayor Don Hardy — a former KPD officer — also delivered remarks and said he’s thankful for what law enforcement has done across the area.
“These officers made the ultimate sacrifice and we can’t say enough about the men and women who serve,” Hardy said. “Families have lost fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, daughters and sons, who went out in the line of duty to keep our city, county and safe straight with the risks each day.”