Law enforcement officers gather to honor fallen heroes

Published: May. 7, 2015 at 12:42 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2017 at 4:10 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Law enforcement officers from across South Carolina gathered Wednesday to honor their colleagues who died last year.

More than 100 South Carolina law enforcement officers died in 2014, including three officers who died in the line of duty.

In September, Charleston County Sheriff's deputy Joseph Matuskovic who shot and killed while responding to a call near Charleston.

Less than two months later, Summerville police officer Robert Blajszczar collapsed and later died after suffering a heart attack while conducting a traffic stop.

The third officer, Clarendon County Sheriff's investigator Holmes Smith Jr., was killed a car crash while on duty.

"I have to say over and over again this makes me proud," Tonia Mallett Smith, the wife of fallen officer Holmes Smith Jr. said. "I didn't understand the magnitude of the law enforcement family until my husband's passing. It is statewide, it is nationwide that they do appreciate law enforcement officers and everybody is a family, there's a thin blue line that ties them all together."

The names of those who died will join many others on a wall at the state law enforcement officers hall of fame.

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