POSTED: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 6:30pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 12:55pm
Ascension Parish, La (NBC33) — Kind words, flowers, and prayers offered fallen law enforcement officers a moment of peace.
Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley preached that the pain of losing brothers and sisters in the line of duty affects all who wear the badge.
"The career that these men and women have chosen is a dangerous career,” stated Wiley. “We run to danger. We don't run away from it. "
Flags flew at half-staff; gunshots rang off in honor of the fallen.
"You can get desensitized to this because this is America, and sadly there are a lot of different kinds of crimes and criminals out there," said Wiley.
Five Louisiana law enforcement officers died on the job in 2012, but Sheriff Wiley believes their sacrifice will never be forgotten.
"I knew them well. I knew their heart. I knew their enthusiasm for the job. I knew their uncommon valor. I knew their courage," stated Wiley.
Sorrento Police chief Earl Theriot just lost his good friend Deputy Brandon Nielsen. Nielsen, a St. John the Baptist Parish deputy, died in Laplace in august, along with Deputy Jeremy Triche. He says the service reminds law enforcement officers how fragile life can be.
"Every time we go out in the morning, we don't know if we are coming back. There is no telling what we are going to run into. Anything routine could turn into a bad situation," stated Theriot. “I just want the public to know that we are out there to help and protect. We put our lives on the line. We do it because we love it. It's our job, and it's what we want to do. "
Sheriff Wiley thinks that well-trained officers are the key to no one being hurt or killed on the job.
"We have to hire the best. We have to train the best. We have to equip them and staff them sufficiently,” said Wiley, “because they don't know what they are running up against each and every day."