Fallen law enforcement officers remembered during service

By: Tamara Evans Email
By: Tamara Evans Email

As part of National Police Week, officers across the state gathered in Frankfort Monday to honor all Kentucky officers who died last year.

The memorial service was held at the Kentucky History Center. The names of 27 officers from Kentucky, who passed away in 2009, were read.

For the first time in more than 20 years, there were no officers in Kentucky that died in the line of duty in 2009.

On Monday, the names of the 27 officers, who died due to other reasons, were remembered in the Kentucky State Fraternal Order of Police Peace Officers Memorial Service.

In attendance as the keynote speaker was Jennifer Thacker, whose husband was shot in 1998. She is now the National President for Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.)

"April 16, 1998 was the day my life was forever changed with the line of duty death of my husband Brandon Thacker", she said. She went on to say "In one instant, with three shots fired, my faith, my security and my future was shattered", says Jennifer Thacker.

"To the survivors, it's very important," State FOP Chaplain Tim Davis said. "We want to honor them and let them know the sacrifice made by the officers in the line of duty, and in turn, everyday lives will not be forgotten."

"This group of people understands what we're going through," Justin Chaffin, whose sister was remembered during the service, said. "It's an organization that does a lot of good for families and we're honored to be here."

Chaffin's sister was a Probation and Parole Officer in Bowling Green. She died last year at the age of 25.

"She passed away from endocarditis, which was an infection that lived in her heart and went undiagnosed. She was a new mother, a relatively new wife and she had a loving family", Chaffin said.

Former Lexington officer Patricia Taylor was also remembered at the ceremony by family and friends.

"She was one of Lexington's first female detectives. I believe she was Lexington's first female negotiator", her son Bryan Taylor said.

After the ceremony at the Kentucky History Center, those attending the memorial then walked to the Old State Capitol Building for a memorial service.

The FOP holds this event every year to kick off National Police Week, and have been doing this for more than 20 years.

As for Lexington Police Officer Bryan Durman, who was killed in the line of duty April 29, we are told he will be honored at next year's ceremony.


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