TENNESSEE COLONY —
On Wednesday, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice L.C. Powledge Unit held its annual Fallen Officer Memorial Ceremony to honor those who have died in the line of duty.
The ceremony began with a procession of officers riding on horseback, led by the “Riderless Horse,” a horse with an empty saddle, led by an officer on foot, with boots reversed in the stirrups, indicating that the warrior is looking back on his troops and will ride no more.
The names of 68 employees were read, the first death recorded in May 1882, and the most recent in October 2012.
Guest speaker was 369th State District Judge Bascom W. Bentley III.
Following the ceremony, the Powledge Unit administration staff, including Senior Warden Kevin Wheat and Assistant Warden T.C. Hendrix, served a meal to those in attendance and to Powledge Unit employees, as a part of Correctional Officer Appreciation Week.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first ever National Correctional Officers Week, and since that time, TDCJ has set aside the first week in May to recognize and honor the men and women in corrections who have the difficult and dangerous assignment of providing public safety to the citizens of Texas.