KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Clay Jenkins traveled to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C. to see his father honored at this year’s national memorial service.
Jenkins is the son of Loudon County Sheriff’s Office’s Sergeant Chris Jenkins, who was killed in the line of duty in February 2022. He was honored during National Police Week in Washington D.C. this year, and his name was added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
Jenkins also participated in this year’s Police Unity Tour bike ride which aims to honor fallen law enforcement officers.
After his passing, Jenkins honored his father by carrying on his father’s badge number.
“Just carrying on the legacy, always remembering him, he’s the reason I always wanted to do this job, just wanted to make him proud so just having this badge number, his badge number, just means the world to me,” Jenkins said.
The Police Unity Tour starts in New Jersey and ends in Washington, D.C., where Jenkins saw his father’s name on the memorial for the first time.
“Especially seeing it in the nation’s capitol, it’s my first time being there in a long time, also being at the memorial service for the fallen police officers, listening to the Attorney General speak, that was really cool and I appreciate everyone taking the time out of their day to remember all the ones that sacrificed, not just my dad,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins said aside from the national support he’s seen for his dad, the support from the community here in East Tennessee has been overwhelming.
“So I’ve always said it I live in the best community in the world, East Tennessee, Loudon County, every day I’m thanked in the community, I’m loved by the community, and for that reason I’m always in debt to this community and will love them no matter what,” Jenkins said.
New names are added to the memorial every year during National Police Week. This year, the week runs from May 14-20.