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Memorial highway proposed to honor fallen officers

A bill that would rename a section of Hwy. 51 to honor two fallen Brookhaven police officers made it through the House and is headed to the Senate.

Rep. Becky Currie, R-Brookhaven, authored the bill to designate the area that runs past the Brookhaven Police Department as the Cpl. Zach Moak and Officer James White Memorial Highway. The two officers were killed Sept. 29, 2018, while responding to a shooting on North Sixth Street.

Currie said it is unlikely the bill will be rejected and anticipates it will land on the governor’s desk for a signature soon.

A dedication ceremony is already in the works and planned in a few months in front of the police department.

“It’s a great honor for them to remember him in this way,” Vicki Moak said of her son.

She is particularly happy with the area chosen for the memorial. It’s a section of Hwy. 51 that stretches from its intersection with Natchez Avenue for .72 miles — 3,825 feet — to the intersection with Brookway Boulevard. It passes the police department that was a home away from home for the peace officers.

“That’s where their heart was. That was their calling and they served their community well,” Moak said. “I think that’s where Zach would have wanted it.”

Currie said she was proud to do her part to memorialize their service with a permanent public recognition of their dedication to the city and its citizens.

“We just want them to know that we will never forget,” she said. “Long after we’re gone, we’re going to have people ride up and down that highway and it’s always going to be named that and we’re never going to forget. Officer White has children and they’re going to grow up and ride up and down that road and they’re always going to see that we remember their dad as a hero.”

She, too, believes the stretch of highway picked by the family is a good choice.

“They (Moak and White) loved being a part of that police department and I think that’s a great part of the town to do that for them,” Currie said.

Mayor Joe Cox said signs will be placed on the highway so that motorists in both directions will see the designation.

“It will be a permanent memorial of the supreme sacrifice they paid in their service to the citizens of Brookhaven,” he said. “The officers will never be forgotten.”