WEBSTER PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association has announced the creation of an annual award for sheriffs or deputies injured in the line of duty.

“This is just a way to recognize those that were injured in the line of duty,” said Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker, one of the nine permanent committee members who are overseeing all nominees.

Sheriff Parker also saw this as an opportunity to potentially honor one of his own.

“I plan on nominating Billy Collins, who we lost this past year in a tragic incident in Doyline,” said Parker.

Parker will nominate Deputy Billy Collins posthumously. It’ll be the first time the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association has ever given an award to a deputy or sheriff injured in the line of duty.

Parker says Deputy Collins is a perfect fit.

“He served and loved his citizens,” said Parker. “He will never be forgotten.”

Deputy Collins was killed in July after responding to a service call.

“Every time we put on the uniform or go out and try to serve our citizens, anything can happen to us,” said Parker. “We have to be prepared for that. It’s the sacrifices that we make each and every day.”

Parker will make the formal nomination in March, but he let his office know of his plans far in advance.

“They’re excited that we are going to have an opportunity to recognize Billy,” said Parker. “And for his sacrifice for us and the citizens of this parish.”

In addition to Parker, Bossier Parish Sheriff Julian Whittington is among the nine committee members.

The winner of the award will be decided in late March and presented at the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association’s 2022 annual conference in late July.