JOPLIN, Mo. — Three bridges and three heroes.
Today (Friday) marks the final ceremony honoring fallen police officers in Joplin.
The bridge at 29th and Range Line is now officially recognized as the “Corporal Ben Cooper Memorial Bridge.”
The sign was unveiled during a gathering this afternoon, bringing together his family, local law enforcement, and members of the community.
Cooper lost his life in a shootout with a suspect in March of 2022.
Now, more than a year and a half later, his widow says it means a lot to have dozens of people turn out to honor him.
“He wouldn’t have wanted none of this. No, yeah, he would have been saying, ‘I don’t show pony.’ So, but I needed it. So, and he deserved it. So it’s a great honor,” said Roxy Cooper, Ben Cooper’s widow.
“It’s encouraging for me, for our department, for the city, for the families to see the amount of people who come out to support an event like this. It just goes to show how much support we have in the community,” said Brian Lewis, Interim Joplin Police Chief.
This is the third of three Joplin bridge dedications, including the 20th Street Bridge now named in honor of Officer Jake Reed, and the Connecticut Avenue Bridge named for Officer Tim Nielson.