Fallen law enforcement officers honored with pavilion dedication at Smith Park in Miller Co.
TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) - Four people were honored Friday, May 27 in Miller County for their work in helping to revive a county park, and their efforts in keeping the area safe.
“We’ve got the park in pretty good shape now, but we still got a lot we need to do,” said Robert Stuckey with the Smith Park Committee.
Smith Park was established in 1962 and is the only park owned by the county. Over the years, the park became neglected, until the South Miller County Economic Development Authority was created in 2015.
“And one of that organization’s project was basically to bring Smith Park back to life again,” Stuckey said.
Improvements made at the park included new pavilions, which were named after two Miller County Sheriff’s Office deputies who were killed in the line of duty. Deputy Charles Barnes lost his life in 1984 while patrolling the roads in Miller County.
“I think this is the time with Memorial Day coming up to honor Deputy Barnes and we will never forget him,” said Lonnie Hazel with the South Miller County Economic Development Authority.
“I think this is a beautiful memorial to my dad. He loved this county and it’s obvious the citizens still love him and remember him as well,” said Charles Barnes Jr., son of Deputy Barnes.
In 2016, Lisa Mauldin was killed while working inside the Miller County Jail. Those who knew her say she loved her grandkids and the outdoors.
“Lisa would love Smith Park with what is going on right now and her memorial in Smith Park will always be cherished and she will always be remembered by the people here in this county,” said Deryl Jones with the South Miller County Economic Development Authority.
Improvements and memorials at the park were made possible by grants and community volunteers. Special recognition was also given to Nedra Turney and Kelly Bufkin for their work in revitalizing Smith Park.
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