OPSO remembers officers lost to COVID-19 on one-year anniversary of Deputy Vanessa Mackey’s death

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NEW ORLEANS
— Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin N. Gusman today ordered flags at OPSO facilities lowered to half-staff for the remainder of this month in memory of the three OPSO officers who died from COVID-19.

One year ago to the date, on April 14, 2020, OPSO lost Deputy Vanessa Mackey to COVID-19.  Deputy Mackey had completed four years of service and was assigned to the Orleans Justice Center at the time of her death.

“The OPSO family continues to mourn the loss of our officers due to COVID-19,” said Sheriff Gusman. “The best way to honor their service and sacrifice to this community is to remain vigilant in the fight against the coronavirus. We will get through this by keeping our guard up, caring for each other, and having faith that better days are ahead.”

Deputy Eric Frazier, a nine-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, passed away on April 18, 2020. Deputy Frazier was a familiar face at Orleans Parish Criminal District Court. His last assignment was at the Orleans Justice Center.

On April 28, 2020, Lt. Garry P. Duplessis, Jr., passed away. He served the Sheriff’s Office for 28 years in a variety of positions, starting his career in what was then the Juvenile Division. Duplessis also served stints in the OPSO Warehouse and the Work-Release Program. He was commander of the Central Control Unit at the Orleans Justice Center at the time of his death.

The Sheriff’s Office is also honoring the fallen officers by displaying a wreath in the lobby of the Orleans Justice Center. In addition, OPSO employees and contractors will gather to offer prayers for the fallen officers and conduct a balloon release in memoriam at 11 a.m. Friday, April 23, at the Orleans Justice Center courtyard.

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