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Service remembered
Officers reflect on sacrifice
Service Remember pic2
Special response officers enter a home during a recent exercise. The hazards of law enforcement duty are being recognized this week. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

Law enforcement officers know they should never take threats lightly.


The Dawson County Sheriff’s Special Response Team recently responded to separate incidents where suspects were armed with shotguns and a cache of ammunition they said they planned to use.


Fortunately, both suspects were taken in custody without incident. But that’s not always the case.


“There are more than 16,000 assaults on police officers each year,” said Dawson County Sheriff Billy Carlisle during a ceremony Monday morning.


The remembrance at the Dawson County Law Enforcement Center, held in conjunction with National Police Week, paid tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, as well as those who continue to serve.


“They enjoy doing their jobs, but they do it so the people can be safe in their homes and protect those who can’t protect themselves,” Carlisle said. “We want to say thank you to the officers that are still out there working today, putting their lives on the line.”


Those in attendance, wearing mourning bands over their badges, bowed their heads as Carlisle placed a wreath of remembrance at the entrance to the jail.


“This wreath is going to be there to remind everyone who comes into the jail this week to think about the officers that gave the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives in the line of duty,” Carlisle said.


The wreath, he said, is also “to help us remember Bobbie Hoenie.”


Hoenie, a former detention center officer, died shortly after leaving her shift at the jail. She was struck by a car while helping a stranded motorist during the tornadoes of 1998.


“Dawson County lost a life, lost a good officer that worked for us and gave her life helping someone else,” Carlisle said.


Hoenie, who had worked for Dawson County about three months, was en route to Hall County’s 911 center, which was experiencing heavy calls due to the weather.


“We’ll always remember her for what she did,” Carlisle said.