Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Historic Research--Fallen Officers

National Law Enforcement Memorial, Washington D.C.
Last week on my Facebook page, I shared an urban legend from Erlanger, Kentucky. The legend states that a police officer who was hit and killed by another vehicle during a traffic stop likes to haunt an area known as Narrows Road, even going as far as pulling over drivers in his 1950s era patrol car.

This isn't the only haunting or urban legend that involves the death of a police officer, killed in the line of duty and unfortunately, like many of those stories, I couldn't actually find any documentation to prove that a policeman WAS in fact killed.  However, it did highlight the need and importance of research in regards to backing up or completely disproving these types of stories.  But where can one find information on this subject?

Many individual states, counties and towns have their own memorials to police officers killed in the line of duty, and these physical monuments can usually be found, with the names and death dates engraved on them, at the police headquarters or county courthouse. Often, an index of names found on the memorials will be listed online, often with accompanying biographical data and photographs.  One of the best sites I've found that is easily searchable and contains data for every state in the country is the Officer Down Memorial Page.  I've linked to this site below, as well as a few other sites of interest to researchers in the tri-state area. If more information is needed, a name and date of death makes doing further research, especially looking up newspaper articles, that much easier.

*May 15th is Police Officers Memorial Day*

Countrywide Databases
Officer Down Memorial Page---A countrywide listing of fallen officers, searchable by state, officer name, year, etc. Many of the links below actually refer to this site, so this might be the best place to start.

Animal Control Officer Deaths---Not a ton of information on this site, and its not easily searchable, but some interesting data on animal control officers, sheriffs, and firefighters killed in the line of duty in regards to animal cases. 

Kentucky
Kentucky State Police Fallen Trooper Memorial---great photos and biographical information on Kentucky state troopers who were killed in the line of duty.

Ashland, KY Officer Memorial---Brief information on Ashland, Ky officers killed while serving. 

Lexington, KY Fallen Heroes---Lexington police officer deaths up until 1967.

West Virginia
WV Law Enforcement Memorial---located at the state capitol in Charleston, the monument lists the names of fallen police officers throughout West Virginia. Names, date of death, and department can be found at the website. 

WV State Police Hall of Honor---Names and pictures of state troopers who were killed in the line of duty.

Huntington, WV Police Department Memorial---A list of officers with the Huntington PD who died in the line of duty, with information on the deaths.

Charleston, WV Police Department Memorial---A list of officers with the Charleston PD who died in the line of duty. Some photos and brief biographical information.

Ohio
Ohio's Highway Patrol---Officers and support staff with Ohio's Highway Patrol who were killed on duty. Includes photographs and short bios.

Gallipolis, Ohio Police Memorial---only one name listed thus far, but excellent information.

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