Special to The Chronicle
Lebanon Police Department Capt. Michael Vanhook said that whether an officer is employed by LPD, Mt. Juliet Police or the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department, “We are all fighting the same battle.”
Vanhook, along with MJPD Chief James Hambrick, WCSD Chief Deputy Larry Bowman and MJPD Cpl. Det. David Stolinsky, led a memorial ceremony at the Wilson County Criminal Justice Center on Thursday to honor law enforcement officers in the community – and two officers in particular.
“In 1962, President John F. Kennendy designated May 15 as a day to honor law enforcement,” Stolinsky said of the observance of Peace Officers Memorial Day during National Police Week.
The Wilson County observance focused on the lives of fallen heroes MJPD Sgt. Jerry Mundy and WCSD Deputy John Musice, who died while serving on July 7, 2003.
The two men were responding to a vehicle chase that began in East Tennessee and were attempting to lay down stop sticks near exit 226 (Mt. Juliet Road at Interstate 40) when they were struck and killed by the vehicle.
“We know there is a possibility that we may not go home at night,” Hambrick said. “So, why do we do it? We are called to do this. Families, thank you for your support.”
Rhonda Musice and Trish Mundy, the widows of the two officers, were recognized at the event. Mrs. Mundy, who serves on the board of the Middle Tennessee chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors, or COPS, received a donation of $500 for the organization.
Stolinsky said he will venture to Washington, D.C. May 15 for a remembrance ceremony honoring two other Tennessee officers who have died while serving this past year – Martoiya Lang of Memphis Police Department and Justin Maples of Cleveland.