Sheriff pushes for fallen officer memorial

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

In Whitley County history, at least seven officers died in the line of duty; however, there is no memorial for them.

Sheriff Colan Harrell is working to change that.

"I want to bring recognition to the fallen officers of Whitley County," Sheriff Harrell said.

From 1892 to 1959, Sheriff Deputies William Sadler, Zeb Ward, Carlo Jones, William Monhollen, and John Mays, Sheriff Elvin Patrick, and Jellico, Kentucky Police Chief George Smiddy lost their lives serving Whitley County.

Right now there is no memorial for them. The sheriff cannot even find much records of their deaths.

"It's decades overdue. They're deserving, very deserving of recognition and this is what I'm going to give them," said Sheriff Harrell.

He is going through newspaper clippings, history books, and the internet looking for information on those who sacrificed their lives for the public.

Workers at the Whitley County Historical and Genealogy Society are helping.

"People like to know about the sheriffs and what happened to them, especially the ones who died in office," said Mary Alice Siler.

The sheriff and historical society workers are asking for the public's help getting information on the officers who died in the line of duty.

"I'm hoping to hear from some of the relatives, friends, some of them I don't even have an age on or the circumstances around their death," said Sheriff Harrell.

Anyone who is a relative of the fallen officers or has information on their deaths can call the Sheriff's office at 606-549-6006.

The Sheriff then plans to use his own money to get a plaque honoring the fallen officers. It will hang up inside the Sheriff's Department office in the Whitley County Courthouse.

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