The citizens, churches, and business owners of Montgomery and Polk Counties have always been supportive of law enforcement, so it is not a surprise that they have come together to strongly support the Lea Memorial Dinner. “We really want to make this a special night for our full time law enforcement officers and their families, and the level of support that we have received has been amazing” said Andy Riner, one of the organizers of the event. Because so many churches, businesses, and individuals rallied behind the event, each full time law enforcement officer in Montgomery and Polk counties and a guest can attend the event without charge.
The Lea Memorial Dinner is a community event to honor the memory of Polk County Deputy Sheriff Bill Lea, who was killed in the line of duty on April 29, 1976. “With the negative attitude toward law enforcement in some regions of our country, this memorial dinner gives the citizens of our counties an opportunity to show local law enforcement that we respect and honor their service. The 40th anniversary of Bill Lea’s death marked a logical time to honor the service of past and present law enforcement officers. This memorial is a reminder that we need effective law enforcement to keep our communities safe.” Riner said.
The event will feature a tribute to Bill Lea, and an inspirational speech by Bernie Mosley. Mosley is a K9 instructor at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy in Camden who has worked in law enforcement since 1997. Mosley is an energetic instructor who is highly respected by his students. Mosley enjoys coaching fellow officers through tough times, and loves to remind officers that the vast majority of citizens love and respect law enforcement.
The organizers of the event want there to be a high level of community involvement and participation. Citizens are invited to write law enforcement officers a supportive note or a card. These notes will be displayed on the banquet tables for law enforcement officers to read. “I think that handwritten notes from the public expressing their support will mean a lot to the officers. I know that my office keeps a scrapbook of every nice note and card we have received. It says a lot when someone takes the time to express their appreciation for what you do” Riner said.
For those interested in attending the dinner, a limited number of tickets are available for sale to the general public at $40 each. Encouraging notes and cards should be sent to Lea Memorial, P.O. Box 856, Mena, AR 71953. For ticket sales, email LMLEA@outlook.com or contact Andy Riner.