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Kentucky State Police personnel from across Kentucky gathered in Frankfort June 21 to pay tribute to the agency’s officers who have fallen in the line of duty over the agency’s history.

Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rick Sanders recognized the fallen KSP troopers, officers and highway patrolmen at a memorial service and wreath-laying ceremony on June 21. Held at the KSP Training Academy, this service honored the memory of the men who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

“Law enforcement shows no bounds whether the uniform is brown, green, gray, or blue,” said Commissioner Rick Sanders. “We are all one family, we share the same sorrows, and I truly do believe that.”

During the 2018 Memorial Service, Commissioner Sanders unveiled a plaque honoring six Kentucky Highway Patrol Officers who died in the line of duty. The highway patrol was the predecessor of Kentucky State Police, prior to the agency’s establishment in the year 1948. The officers named on the remembrance plaque permanently installed in the cadet barracks at the KSP Academy in Frankfort include:

Patrolman James Hays: December 21, 1935

Patrolman Robert Rowland: December 22, 1935

Captain Vernon Snell: February 20, 1937

Patrolman Mose H. Littrell: March 14, 1938

Patrolman Houston Greene: May 18, 1944

Patrolman Vadas G. Richardson: October 7, 1944

Sanders shared that his own family makes up four generations of law enforcement, beginning with his grandfather and extending to his sons.

“There’s a special love in my heart for anyone in law enforcement who serves in the Commonwealth. They are truly servants of Christ, that are called to do this job.”

He went on to say that there were 144 law enforcement line of duty deaths last year in the U.S.

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“It’s important that we remember our brothers and sisters who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. What struck me — was the number 55. This represents the men and women who were killed during felonious attacks, which is a trend in law enforcement, that is troubling to me.”

Twenty-nine Kentucky State Police Troopers, one Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer, and one KSP Water Patrol Officer lost their lives in the line of duty. These include:

Trooper Harold J. Toll: November 14, 1948

Trooper Robert R. Miller: February 14, 1951

Trooper Lee T. Huffman: May 19, 1953

Trooper Herbert C. Bush: October 11, 1958

Trooper William E. Tevis: May 26, 1963

Trooper Elmer Mobely Jr.: May 28, 1964

Trooper Cecil W. Uzzle: May 28, 1964

Trooper Delano G. Powell: July 8, 1965

Trooper Mack E. Brady: November 9, 1966

Trooper William H. Barrett: December 19, 1971

Trooper James W. McNeely: April 8, 1972

Officer David T. Childs: April 8, 1972

Trooper Walter O. Thurtell: September 29, 1972

Trooper Joseph Ward Jr.: April 23, 1973

Lieutenant William C. Smith: April 26, 1973

Trooper John W. Hutchinson: June 4, 1975

Trooper Bobby A. McCoun Jr.: September 11 1975

Trooper William F. Pickard: January 21, 1976

Lieutenant Willis D. Martin: April 26, 1977

Trooper Clinton E. Cunningham: February 11, 1979

Trooper Edward R. Harris: November 7, 1949

Trooper Jerome S. Clifton: October 1, 1980

Detective Darrell V. Phelps: August 7, 1981

Trooper Johnny M. Edrington: December 21, 1988

Trooper Johnny G. Adkins: November 24, 1995

Officer Jason W. Cammack: April 23, 2000

Trooper Jonathan K. Leonard: December 19, 2006

Trooper Anson B. Tribby: January 22, 2013

Trooper Eric K. Chrisman: June 23, 2015

Sergeant David R. Gibbs: August 7, 2015

Trooper J. Cameron Ponder: September 13, 2015

“Our commonwealth owes an eternal debt to the fallen heroes at KSP, and we are called to live every day in a way that honors and justifies their sacrifice,” said Kentucky Justice Secretary John Tilley. “I hope everyone will join me in praying for those we have lost, their families and those who continue to serve.”

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