A crowd of 70 persons, including various law enforcement officers and their families, gathered in Hempstead Hall as the Hope Rotary Club held its annual "Law Enforcement Appreciation Day" program Thursday afternoon.

A crowd of 70 persons, including various law enforcement officers and their families, gathered in Hempstead Hall as the Hope Rotary Club held its annual "Law Enforcement Appreciation Day" program Thursday afternoon.
Hope Rotary Club President Steve Lance said the event has been a Rotary Club tradition for years and said, “This is our way of saying thanks.”
Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton was the keynote speaker.
Singleton said, “It has been been a rough year for law enforcement; some 220 officers have died in the line of duty in 2016.  It takes a very special person to serve in law enforcement these days, and every day when they leave home, they don’t know if they are coming back.”
He also said, “This day is not only about the officers, but the families that support them day in and day out. The wives and children are special, too.”
Singleton also praised what he called “the outstanding level of cooperation that all of the Hempstead County-based agencies have.”
“It doesn’t matter about the uniform or agency; we all work well together here, which is something that can’t be said in other areas of the state,” he said/
Singleton also presented the first honor of the day as a member of his department, Justin Crane was named as "Hempstead County Deputy of the Year,” who he called an outstanding public servant and praised for his community involvement.
Presented next was Hope Police Officer Justin Dean, who was named the Hope Police Officer of the Year. The modest Dean delivered a brief “Thank you to everyone” as he accepted his award.
Concluding the ceremony was the award for local State Trooper of the Year as Sergeant Jamie Gravier of Troop G of the Arkansas State Police presented the award to recently promoted Sergeant Seth Pinner of Magnolia.
Gravies called Pinner a credit to the state police and praised his service as a member of the state SWAT team.
“While others are running out of harm’s way, he is part of a team that runs into it,” Gravies said.