Jennings Police begin annual remembrance for two fallen officers

Remembrance Ceremony for two fallen Jennings Police Officers
(Erica Bivens / KPLC)
(Erica Bivens / KPLC)
(Erica Bivens / KPLC)
(Erica Bivens / KPLC)
(Erica Bivens / KPLC)
(Erica Bivens / KPLC)

JENNINGS, LA (KPLC) - Fourteen years ago Wednesday, gunfire took the lives of former Jennings Police Captain Kenneth Guidry, his wife Christine, and Officer Burton LeBlanc.

They died at Guidry's house, shot by fellow officer Phillip Karam.

He died in prison in 2011 while serving a life sentence.

Oficers and loved ones said they hope to remember the fallen officers for who they were and the legacies they left behind by starting an annual memorial.

"Today serves as an opportunity, a duty to remember, reflect, and never forget, one of the most tragic moments any of us will ever experience in our lifetimes," said Jennings Police Communications Officer Peaches Guidry.

14 years ago to the day, Burton LeBlanc and Kenneth Guidry were fatally shot – Burt, in the line of duty, Kenny, a retired Police Captain.

"Some do not want to remember the horrible acts that took Burt and Kenny's life, but yet we want to remember who they were, what they stood for and how they would want us to continue their legacy," Peaches said.

Loved ones and fellow officers say it's important to honor those who sacrificed so much.

"So family knows that their memory is still alive here at Jennings Police Department. It's not just it happened 14 years ago and it's over with, they're still with the department," explained Peaches.

For Peaches, who knew both officers, the day is even more personal.

"Too often we tend to forget that it wasn't a badge that failed, it was a person, a loved one, it was someone that was respected," Peaches said.

And although it's been 14 years, those who knew the officers say it doesn't get any easier.

"All these years have gone by and it's hard, it's still hard," said family member Cindy Stutz.

Relatives say they're grateful for the memorial and for all officers who put their lives on the line.

"You never realize how many officers have given their lives, and Burt and Kenny were one of them," said Cindy.

Flags were lowered to half staff in memory of the two fallen officers, who may be gone but are certainly not forgotten.

Jennings Police say its been more than 10 years since they held a remembrance event like today's for the two officers, and that it will now be an annual one to be held each year February 5.

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