JACKSONVILLE, Onslow County - Next week is National Police Week. Jacksonville will honor officers lost locally in an event on Monday.
We spoke with a retired Jacksonville police officer who knew two officers killed in the line of duty in Onslow County nearly 40 years ago. Onslow County Commissioners Chairman Jack Bright retired as a deputy chief in 2000 after serving 30 years with the department.
"In the history of the Jacksonville Police Department, we had never lost an officer in the line of duty. So it was quite traumatic," Bright said.
Officer Terry Lanier was just when he died on May 11, 1979. He was stabbed to death while trying to arrest a man suffering from mental illness. William Whitehead died two years later on May 28, 1981 when he was attacked by two suspects who drowned him in New River.
Those deaths have stuck with the officers who currently serve with the Jacksonville Police Department.
"These officers gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives to protect the citizens of the City of Jacksonville," Lt. Chuck James said.