HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The annual tradition to honor law enforcement was held this morning in front of the Law Enforcement Center in Hutchinson.
“This is a week that’s kind of somber obviously for law enforcement,” Hutchinson Police Chief Jeffrey Hooper said. “It’s where we pay respect for all those officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to their communities.”
He adds that you think it can never happen in your community, but it can happen at any time. He talked about the close call recently in Rice County to the sheriff and undersheriff.
“We’re really fortunate that we didn’t have two more names going on that wall for 2019, we’re just thankful that they’re okay,” Chief Hooper said.
The ceremony Friday also included opening comments from Reno County Sheriff Randy Henderson, an invocation with Chaplain Mel Parrott and guest speaker state Sen. Dr. Ed Berger. He talked about officers giving the ultimate sacrifice. He also told the crowd to visit the Law Enforcement Memorial in Topeka to see the names of those lost over the years.
They also gave recognition to fallen officers. Taps was played by two members of the Buhler High School Band as the flag was raised by a Reno County sheriff’s department honor guard.
There were four local officers who lost their lives mentioned during the ceremony.
Kenneth Michael Kennedy
Officer Kenneth Kennedy was shot and killed by the female friend of a suspect he was struggling with.
End of Watch: Friday, Sept. 15, 1972.
Reason Sherman Monroe
Patrolman Monroe was shot and killed when he attempted to arrest a man who had beaten his wife. He was told the man went to a store with his son.
End of Watch: Wednesday, July 2, 1924.
Thomas Simpson Fowler
Reno County deputy sheriff Thomas Fowler was shot and killed while transporting a subject to jail.
End of Watch: Sunday, Dec: 11, 1910.
Reno County Undersheriff Metz was killed after being run over by a Missouri Pacific passenger train.
End of Watch: Monday, Jan. 7, 1901.