MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The Monroe Police Department spent Wednesday afternoon honoring a woman who dedicated her life to the city.
Courtesy: KNOE 8 News
"She was a fun-loving person, always greeted you with a smile," Monroe Police Chief Eugene Ellis said.
On Wednesday, officers laid a wreath to remember the life of Officer Ayrian Williams, who was killed in the line of duty in 2018. Williams' car slammed into a tree nearly one year ago to the day, on May 21, 2018, as she was answering a call for backup.
As the bugle blows, on Wednesday she was remembered for that sacrifice.
"Today is a special day because it gives us a chance to say thank you," Ellis said. "Thank you to her family, and to Officer Williams for making the ultimate sacrifice."
MPD honored all five Louisiana officers who lost their lives last year, serving as a constant reminder of how dangerous it is to wear the badge.
"There's no guarantees in life," Ellis said. "And we have a thankless, very dangerous job. And it just keeps us aware that anything can happen at any given time."
It's a danger fewer and fewer people are willing to deal with. West Monroe Police Sergeant CJ Beck says WMPD is down five officers. That's five fewer people patrolling the streets, making it even harder for the men and women already on duty.
"We are struggling with manpower, yes," Beck said. "And we're filling that gap with extra man hours and it's ... the police officers need a break. They need some time off."
Beck also says given today's political climate, with a heightened focus on police, the pressures can add up.
"The difficult part is living, working and living, in those standards that may be set by bad precedents," Beck said.
Chief Ellis says the way to break that precedent is to remember the one set by a woman whose name now lives on forever.
"Officer Williams was the perfect officer," Ellis said.