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Ceremony at Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial to honor seven who died in line of duty in 2021

Gov. Andy Beshear will join the Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation (KLEMF) and the Department of Criminal Justice Training (DOCJT) next week to honor seven Kentucky law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2021.

“These public servants choose daily to put themselves in harm’s way to protect all of us,” said Gov. Beshear. “Speaking to the families and loved ones of these officers, and to those who return to the ceremony every year to remember those whose names are etched into the monument’s steel, is one of my greatest honors as Governor.”

Gov. Beshear will serve as the ceremony’s keynote speaker.

DOCJT and KLEMF will jointly host the annual remembrance on Thursday, May 26. The ceremony will be conducted at 10 a.m. EDT at the Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial monument site, located at DOCJT on Eastern Kentucky University’s campus.

This year’s ceremony will honor:

• Louisville Metro Police Officer Hassan F. Hassan, end of watch April 2, 2021. Officer Hassan suffered a fatal medical event shortly after responding to a shooting call.
Breckinridge County Sheriff’s Deputy Wagner L. Baskett, Jr., end of watch May 24, 2021. Deputy Baskett died from complications of COVID-19 after contracting the illness in the line of duty.

• Georgetown Police Lt. Gary W. Crump, II, end of watch June 30, 2021. Lt. Crump suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after an extensive and tense interrogation following a months-long investigation.

• Jefferson County Deputy Sheriff Brandon A. Shirley, end of watch Aug. 5, 2021. Deputy Shirley was shot and killed when he was ambushed while working a secondary employment assignment.

• Floyd County Sheriff’s Deputy Oliver Little, end of watch Oct. 31, 2021. Deputy Little died from complications of Covid-19 after contracting the illness in the line of duty.

• Graves County Deputy Jailer Robert T. Daniel, end of watch Dec. 10, 2021. Deputy Daniel was serving in a law enforcement capacity overseeing prisoners on work release at a Mayfield candle factory when he was killed by a tornado.

• Louisville Metro Police Officer Zachary D. Cottongim, end of watch Dec. 18, 2021. Officer Cottongim was struck and killed by an automobile as he attended to an abandoned vehicle on the side of I-64.

Additionally, five historical honorees will be added to the monument this year. They are:

• Metcalfe County Deputy Sheriff Albert J. Franklin, end of watch Nov. 11, 1913.

• Pikeville Police Officer Alonzo Robinson, end of watch May 16, 1929.

• Harlan County Sheriff’s Deputy Isaac Pennington, end of watch April 16, 1933.

• Floyd County Sheriff’s Deputy Marion Layne, end of watch Jan. 5, 1939.

• Campbell County Police Chief George T. Benz, end of watch Sept. 20, 1948.

Louisville Metro Police Lt. Andrew Rodman, brother of LMPD Officer Nick Rodman, will speak following Gov. Beshear. Officer Nick Rodman was killed in the line of duty in 2017 during a vehicle pursuit.

“Law enforcement is a dangerous job, and we strive to provide training that helps each and every officer return home safely at the end of their shifts,” said DOCJT Commissioner Nicolai Jilek. “When tragedy touches our law enforcement family, we all grieve. This annual ceremony is a time for us to remember these officers not for the way they died, but for the way they lived.

Just this week, Kentucky was reminded of the dangers our law enforcement face with the passing of Calloway County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy and former Kentucky State Police Sergeant Jody Cash while serving the Commonwealth. Gov. Beshear has ordered flags at all state buildings to be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, May 21, in honor. For more, click here.

KLEMF seeks to recognize all Kentucky peace officers who have given their lives in service to the Commonwealth. The monument will hold 570 names after this year’s additions.

The memorial foundation was established in 1999 to build a monument in recognition of Kentucky officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Once the monument was completed in 2000, the organization expanded its efforts to include an ongoing financial endowment program, which helps Kentucky peace officers and their families with educational, medical and emergency needs.

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