CARTHAGE, Mo. — A Southwest Missouri sheriff launched a new memorial as part of National Law Enforcement Appreciation month. It’s a memorial installation in the Jasper County Courthouse. It honors all County law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice, dating back more than 130 years.
“I would like to recognize Jailor Eil Bray who died on December 13th of 1930,” said CPD Chief Bill Hawkins.
“Trooper Charles Corbin,” said Captain Justin McCullough, MO Hwy. Patrol.
“Oronogo town Marshall Melvin Stiles shot and killed in the line of duty,” added Steven Weaver, Oronogo Police Chief.
26 names in all, Jasper County law enforcement officers lost on the job, dating back as far as 1885.
“When they served, does not matter. The passage of time can never diminish the sacrifices they made or the examples they set,” said Sandy Karten, MO Dept. of Public Safety Dir.
A ceremony dedicating a new memorial to those fallen officers attracted dozens of people, including family members of the fallen.
The focus is a new tile installation, listing the names and photos of lost officers in a project organized by the Jasper County Sheriff’s office.
“I mean it’s in a prominent place in the courthouse – a place where it should be a prominent place so that people can come and visit and look at it. And children can grow up and see the sacrifices people made by the people that came before them,” said Jasper Co. Sheriff Randee Kaiser.
Those sacrifices include JPD Officer Jake Reed and Corp. Ben Cooper, lost just weeks ago.
But other names on the list are 20, 50, or even 137 years old. And the Joplin Police Chief points out that is why this memorial is so important.
“As long as we speak their names, remember them, then they won’t be forgotten. I think that’s hugely important for the legacy that goes forward,” said JPD Chief Sloan Rowland.
The tile mural sits near one of the main entrances to the courthouse, on the west side of the first floor.
The cost of the project was covered by anonymous donations from the community.