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home : news : military June 26, 2019

5/14/2019 5:35:00 PM
Wreath Placed In Honor Of Sgt. John H. Howell II
Photos Courtesy Lincoln County Sheriff's Office
Photos Courtesy Lincoln County Sheriff's Office

Lincoln County Sheriff's
Office Press Release

LINCOLNTON, N.C. – May 15, 2019 is National Peace Officer Memorial Day and a Lincoln County Sheriff’s Sergeant who was killed on August 26, 1973 is honored with a wreath placed at his grave site at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Lincolnton.

John Hugh Howell II was only 24 years old when he was shot and killed when he responded to a domestic dispute in which a man had assaulted his daughter. Sgt. Howell was familiar with the family because of previous trips to diffuse domestic incidents so when he arrived at the location the man’s son let him into the house.

While inside he exchanged shots with the father, who was armed with a .22 caliber rifle. Sergeant Howell was struck in the chest and hand. He was able to make it to his patrol car and radioed for assistance before succumbing to his wounds.

The suspect was arrested and charged with murder and assault. He was convicted of second degree murder on March 1, 1974 and sentenced to 25 years in prison. He served just over eight years of the sentence and was released on May 28, 1982. In May of 1995 he was killed when a tractor overturned on top of him.

Sgt. Howell joined the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office after serving in the U.S. Army in Vietnam where he received the Bronze Star.

Each year during the week surrounding May 15th communities across the United States come together to honor and remember those law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Sergeant John H. Howell, II is honored with a plaque on the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial in Washington, D.C. The memorial is located in the 400 block of E Street between 4th and 5th Streets, NW. His name is located on the 2nd row in the 47th panel on the East Wall.

First Sergeant Thomas R. Taylor also died while on duty. Sgt. Taylor died from a medical condition on December 30, 2003.

The Lincoln County Commissioners issued a proclamation honoring National Police Week.

The proclamation reads as follows:

MAY 12 - MAY 18, 2019

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Whereas, in 1962, John Fitzgerald Kennedy signed the Joint Resolution entitled Joint Resolution to authorize the President to proclaim May 15 of each year as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week of each year during which such May 15 occurs as Police Week" (36 U.S.C. 136); and

Whereas the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, dedicated on October 15, 1991, is the national monument to honor law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty; and

Whereas Federal, State, local, and tribal police officers, sheriffs, and other law enforcement officers across the United States serve with valor, dignity and integrity; and

Whereas law enforcement officers are charged with pursuing justice for all individuals and performing their duties with fidelity to the constitutional and civil rights of the individuals that the law enforcement officers serve; and

Whereas the resolve of law enforcement officers in the service of their communities is unyielding, despite inherent dangers in the performance of their duties; and

Whereas the vigilance, compassion, and decency of law enforcement officers are the best defense of society against individuals who seek to do harm; and

Whereas Peace Officers Memorial Day 2019 honors the 144 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty during 2018, and nine of those were in North Carolina; and

Whereas, during the first four months of 2019, 35 law enforcement officers across the United States have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Now, therefore, be it Proclaimed, that the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners:

(l) designates the week of May 12 through May 18, 2019, as "National Police Week" in Lincoln County;

(2) expresses strong support for law enforcement officers across the United States for their efforts to build safer and more secure communities;

(3) recognizes the need to ensure that law enforcement officers have the equipment, training, and resources necessary to protect their health and safety while the law enforcement officers are protecting the public;

(4) recognizes the members of the law enforcement community for their selfless acts of bravery;

(5) acknowledges that police officers and other law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice should be remembered and honored;

(6) expresses condolences to the loved ones of each law enforcement officer who has made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty; and

(7) encourages the people of Lincoln County to observe National Police Week with appropriate ceremonies and activities that promote awareness of the vital role of law enforcement officers in building safer and more secure communities across the United States. Adopted this the 6th day of May, 2019.

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