TEXARKANA, TX (KSLA) - Texarkana police officer killed in the line of duty in June has been named Officer of the Year as part of the Texarkana Rotary Club's annual officer appreciation luncheon.
Sprague's wife's family was there to accept the honor on his behalf. "I feel like it is a great honor to be able to know that they are still thinking about him and still carry him in their hearts," she said.
"I know I brought up a good son and it's not a surprise, just very honored," said Sprague's mother Marsay Greene.
Police say Sprague was intentionally struck early Friday morning by an SUV driven by 21-year-old Justin Sanders of Texarkana while Sprague was responding to a disturbance call at Grady T. Wallace Park.
Police later arrested 21-year-old Justin Sanders and charged him with aggravated assault on a public servant. Sanders remains in custody at the Bi-State Justice Center, where he is being held on $1.5 million bail.
Sprague was one of many Texarkana area public safety officers recognized at the event, which included police, sheriff's deputies and firefighters.
From the Texarkana, Arkansas Fire Department, Lt. Michael Gilliam and Firefighter Corey Durham were honored.
From the Texarkana, Arkansas Police Department, it was Officer Rick Cockrell.
Miller County Sheriff's Department Cpl. Billy Bohannan was also recognized, as well as Arkansas Highway Police Patrol Officer 1st Class Justin Smith and Arkansas State Police Agent Corwin Battle.
From the Texarkana, Texas Fire Department, honorees were Captain Shane Page, firefighters Nichole Chamblee, Clay Phillips and Eric McCasland.
Lt. Alton White of the Bowie County Sheriff's Department was recognized, along with Texas Department of Public Safety agents Bell Allison, Chris Barker, Lance Cline, Briscoe Davis, Dustin Estes and Josh Vera.
"The motto of Rotary International is 'Service above self,' and that is what these people do every day," says Rotary Club District Governor Anson Godfrey. "They put themselves out there on the line to make sure we can go to bed at night feeling safe."
All of the honorees were received well by the crowd, but the loudest applause came for Officer Sprague, accompanied by a long standing ovation and an unwavering show of support for those he leaves behind. "And that is what this honor is about today," Stephanie said. "To remind us that it is a horrible situation but we have so much positive in our lives as well."
Officer Sprague was also honored at a ceremony in Austin on Thursday, along with other Texas officers, firefighters and first responders around the state who have been seriously injured or killed in the line of duty.