By JB Clark
TUPELO – Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre and Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards will accept Lifetime Service Awards today on behalf of fallen law enforcement officers in their departments.
The Lifetime Service Award will be given to Sgt. Kevin “Gale” Stauffer of the Tupelo Police Department and Deputy Clinton Frazier of the Union County Sheriff’s Office at the Crime Stoppers annual training conference’s this morning breakfast in Biloxi.
Edwards said his department is still recovering from the loss but considers it an honor to have its fallen deputy honored at the statewide convention.
Frazier was killed in a traffic accident Dec. 18 while he was on patrol.
Aguirre said he also is honored to accept the award on behalf of his officer, and his department is still overwhelmed with community support.
Stauffer was killed by gunfire Dec. 23 while responding to a bank robbery on South Gloster Street in Tupelo.
“It’s still a long healing process for us,” Aguirre said. “But I haven’t been to the store once without someone approaching me to tell me how they were touched by our officers’ service or that they are praying for us.”
He said he still receives almost daily letters of support and consolation from other law enforcement agencies as far away as Canada.
Stauffer also will be honored Wednesday at the Crime Stoppers luncheon at the Tupelo Summit Center. His family will be awarded the Honorary Cross of Valor.
The Law Enforcement Purple Heart will be presented to Officer Joseph Maher, who was injured in the shootout that took Stauffer’s life.