Peace Officers Memorial

Then-Panola County Sheriff Jack Ellett and The Rev. Dale Reed helped dedicate a Fallen Peace Officers of Panola County memorial on May 14, 1999. Panola County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chris Dickerson, killed in the line of duty on Dec. 31, 2019, will be added to the memorial on Friday.

Panola County will re-dedicate its Fallen Peace Officers’ Memorial on Friday to honor the late Deputy Chris Dickerson, who was killed in the line of duty Dec. 31.

The ceremony, which will be live-streamed on the Hawthorn Funeral Home Facebook page for the public in light of COVID-19 restrictions, will take place at 10 a.m. at the Panola County courthouse. The public is encouraged to watch online and to remember law enforcement and their families in prayer.

The annual event recognizes first responders who have died while on the job and is attended by Panola County law enforcement and firefighters. This year’s peace officers memorial ceremony will be entirely held outdoors, with social distancing in place as possible — a departure from normal traditions, but organizers said they could not cancel the ceremony in light of Dickerson’s death.

“We always remember our local heroes lost each year in law and fire departments, but this year we will re-dedicate the monument with the engraved inscription of Deputy Dickerson and read and remember our local loved ones and heroes names engraved beside his” Organizer and law enforcement chaplain the Rev. Dale Reed said.


Carthage native Meredith Shamburger has worked for the Panola Watchman since 2018. Before that, she worked at sister papers in Longview and Marshall; the Dallas Morning News; and The Daily Voice, a hyperlocal news company in Westchester County, New York.