BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — On Thursday the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement held a special ceremony to recognize the service of fallen law enforcement officers and the families left behind.

“Nine officers we think is too many, one is too many,” said Executive Director of the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement, Jim Craft.

The Louisiana Law Enforcement Medal of honor was established by the Louisiana State Legislature in 1997. Since then, there has been 142 medal of honor recipients. Craft says while these ceremonies never get easier, it’s important for the families. 

“Sometimes you get a little choked up, you get a little emotional,” said Craft.

The Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement honored nine fallen officers of 2021, each of their families and loved ones accepting a medal of Valor, a plaque, and a Louisiana state flag in their honor. Craft says these ceremonies are important for families. 

“We want to make sure that we convey to the families of those officers our respect and admiration, and appreciative of the sacrifice they made,” Craft said.

While the room was filled with tears of those left behind, these fallen officers also left behind memories their loved ones say will last a lifetime. 

“There really aren’t words to describe Charles F. Dotson, I think anybody that knew him, knew him to be the life of the party, he was just full of life and he lived his life every day that same way,” said BRPD Deputy Chief Myron Daniels.

Mothers, fathers, friends, mentors, and more, are all represented for their bravery behind the badge. 

“I want to say thank you, thank you for sharing your loved ones with us thank you for having the courage to say go forth when they came home and had that conversation and said this is what I want to do, you could have said no, you could have resisted, but you said go forth,” said retired Baton Rouge Chief Jeff Leduff.

The officers were commemorated by the LCLE at the Old State Capitol:

1. Stephen Christopher Arnold (Detective) – Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office

2. Austin Spencer Bush (Patrolman) – Houma Police Department

3. William Earl Collins, Jr. (Officer) – Doyline Police Department

4. Trey Copeland (Officer) – Cotton Valley Police Department

5. Charles F. Dotson (Sgt.) – Baton Rouge Police Department

6. Adam Gaubert (Master Trooper) – Louisiana State Police

7. Randy James Guidry (Officer) – Youngsville Police Department

8. Martinus Mitchum (Reserve Deputy Constable) – 2nd City Court of New Orleans Constable’s Office

9. Theresa Elizabeth Simon (Sgt.) – Slidell Police Department

K-9 “Ivar” with the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office was also honored during the ceremony.