Sprague Christmas treeSMALLL

The blue and silver bulbs, tinsel, garland and ribbons that decorate the green Christmas tree inside the Benton Police Department patrol room does much more than lift the spirits of the officers who will be working during the holiday season. The color that shines through the often drab office space glows with a reminder and honor for fallen law enforcement brother Jason Sprague.

Three years and five months ago, Stephanie Sprague-West and her son Caden learned the tragic news that their husband/father- Jason Sprague, an officer with the Texarkana, Texas Police Department after he responded to a disturbance involving about 100 people. The driver of a vehicle Officer Sprague attempted to make contact with struck and killed the officer.

There has been an outpouring of support for Stephanie and Caden in honor of Officer Sprague, including the William Jason Sprague Scholarship for students pursuing a degree in criminal justice at Texarkana College. Stephanie and Caden later moved to Benton and the community has embraced them with open arms. In May, the Benton Police Department adopted the family, though Stephanie will say that she adopted the BNPD as well.

“I’ve strived for years to make sure that Jason’s memory was honored in a nice, respectful ways, and we feel like we take the reins in that regard,” Stephanie Sprague-West said. “The way we chose to remember him is indicative of his life and he very much was a person who gave back, as most officers are. So we are focusing on teaching Caden how to give back in order to honor his dad as well.”

“We focus on honoring by living and giving back. We obviously have a place in our hearts for our Blue Family. Especially in today’s world, as a fallen officers’ family, we can help contribute to showing something positive for officers.”

That is the reason the Christmas tree in the BNPD patrol room is an exceptional Christmas tree to the BNPD family.

“Texarkana isn’t close anymore for us, and while those officers are very supportive, we feel like for our son Caden, it’s important to incorporate as much Blue family in is life as possible,” Stephanie Sprague-West said. “The Benton Police Department is such as great force and very proactive in the community, that we felt like this was a good fit. This time of year, officers work a whole, whole lot and you’re not home very much. So we want this Christmas tree to give some Christmas cheer while you’re working.”

She said the Christmas tree is also a way for Caden to understand the impact of his father’s life.

“He was 4 ½ years-old when Jason was killed so he doesn’t have a lot of knowledge of what was really going on when his dad was honored previously,” Stephanie Sprague-West said. “But in his world today, now that he’s 8-years-old, he’s more proactive in honoring his dad. And he likes to be reminded of the hero that his dad was.”

The BNPD staff and officers are grateful for the dedicated life of Officer Jason Sprague to protecting and serving in the face of danger. We are also very fortunate to have the Sprague family included in our own family, and we thank them for the Christmas tree that is already radiating joy throughout the department.