May 05, 2012

Missouri's fallen law enforcement officers honored during annual ceremony at State Capitol

Seven who died in the line of duty in 2011 are remembered along with two officers who died in the line of duty in 2010

Seven Missouri law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty during 2011 and two who died in the line of duty during 2010 were memorialized today at a solemn ceremony at the Law Enforcement Memorial, on the grounds of the State Capitol.
The names of District Administrator Debra K. Collins, Deputy U.S. Marshal John B. Perry, Police Officer Daryl A. Hall, Master Patrolman Jefferson G. Taylor, Trooper Fredrick "Fred" F. Guthrie Jr., Patrolman Evan D. Burns and Chief Jerry E. Hicks, Sr. were added to the memorial wall overlooking the Missouri River. The names of two officers who died in 2010, Sergeant George F. Ross and Officer William M. "Mick" Mudd, were also added to the wall.
"Law enforcement officers across our state courageously serve to protect their neighbors and strengthen our communities," said Gov. Jay Nixon. "In 2011, these brave men and women also protected and served Missourians by responding to natural disasters, and we honor two heroes who paid the ultimate price for their selfless service during disasters last year. We must remember and honor those who, despite the risks, devote their lives to ensuring the safety of others.”
"Missouri's law enforcement officers risk their lives each day because of their devotion to improving the lives of others," said Department of Public Safety Director Jerry Lee. "This commitment to serving and protecting means daily sacrifices by the officers and their families, and we must never take for granted these courageous individuals and their families.”
Families of the fallen and law enforcement agencies from across Missouri participated in the annual event by placing wreaths at the memorial wall. 
On Friday, May 4, a candlelight vigil in honor of all Missouri law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty was held at the memorial.  

The following law enforcement officer's names were added to the memorial wall this year:

Debra K. Collins End of Watch: March 4, 2011 Rank: District Administrator Department: Missouri Department of Corrections Cause: Vehicular crash Age: 55 Years of Service: 25
District Administrator Debra Collins was killed in an automobile crash near Fredericktown while driving to Poplar Bluff for a meeting related to her position with the Department of Corrections. Her vehicle ran off the road and overturned in a ditch, and the injuries she sustained were fatal.
John B. Perry End of Watch: March 8, 2011 Rank: Deputy Marshal Department: United States Marshals Service Cause: Gunshot Age: 48 Years of Service: 10
On March 8, Deputy Marshal Perry and approximately 10 other U.S. Marshals and St. Louis Metropolitan Police officers went to a residence to serve a suspect with a felony warrant for assault on a law enforcement officer and drug possession. The officers removed several children from the home and then began the search for the suspect. As the officers searched, the suspect opened fire, striking a St. Louis Police officer, Deputy Marshal Perry and another deputy marshal. During an exchange of gunfire, the suspect was shot and killed. Deputy Marshal Perry died at the hospital later that day.
Daryl A. Hall End of Watch: April 24, 2011 Rank: Police Officer Department: St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Cause: Gunshot Age: 34 Years of Service: 6
Early in the morning on April 24, Officer Hall was off duty at a nightclub when he heard gunshots outside. Officer Hall went to investigate, and witnessed the suspect shooting a handgun. Officer Hall announced that he was a police officer and ordered the suspect to drop his weapon. The suspect refused and gunfire was exchanged between Officer Hall, the suspect, and a security guard. Officer Hall suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was transported to St. Louis University Hospital where he died later that day.
Jefferson G. Taylor End of Watch: June 3, 2011 Rank: Master Patrolman Department: Riverside Police Department Cause: Weather/natural disaster Age: 31 Years of Service: 6
On May 23, Master Patrolman Taylor was assisting with disaster response efforts in Joplin following the devastating EF-5 tornado that had struck Jasper and Newton counties the day before. Patrolman Taylor had just returned to a command post on a department ATV to drop off another first responder when a bolt of lightning struck close to where he was standing. Other officers on the scene immediately began CPR and Patrolman Taylor was transported to St. John's Hospital in Springfield where he remained until he succumbed to his injuries on June 3.
Frederick "Fred" F. Guthrie Jr. End of Watch: Aug. 1, 2011 Rank: Trooper Department: Missouri State Highway Patrol Cause: Drowned Age: 46 Years of Service: 17
Trooper Guthrie and his canine, Reed, were swept into flood waters in Holt County while on river flooding patrol duty. Another patrol unit discovered Trooper Guthrie's Patrol truck idling on the road with his Patrol boat still on its trailer. A massive search was initiated, and K9 Reed's body was recovered the next day. The search for Trooper Guthrie continued and, on Jan. 12, 2012, his body was recovered.
Evan D. Burns End of Watch: Aug. 16, 2011 Rank: Patrolman Department: Caruthersville Police Department Cause: Vehicular assault Age: 28 Years of Service: 2
Patrolman Burns and another officer were setting up spike strips on a roadway in order to assist deputies from the Pemiscot County Sheriff's Office who were pursuing a stolen SUV being driven by a suspect wanted in an assault case. When the stolen vehicle approached, it struck the first police car, injuring the other police officer. The suspect then rammed the SUV into Patrolman Burns' vehicle, killing Patrolman Burns. 
Jerry E. Hicks, Sr. End of Watch: Dec. 4, 2011 Rank: Chief of Police Department: Leadwood Police Department Cause: Vehicular crash Age: 69 Years of Service: 25
Chief Hicks was driving to the Potosi Correctional Center to pick up an inmate work crew when the vehicle he was driving slid on a patch of ice on a highway bridge, causing it to leave the roadway. The vehicle hit a tree on the passenger side. Chief Hicks was flown to a hospital in Creve Coeur, where he died six days later.
George F. Ross End of Watch: April 8, 2010 Rank: Sergeant Department: Maplewood Police Department Cause: Heart attack Age: 62 Years of Service: 32
On March 30, 2010 Sergeant Ross, while on duty, participated in the funeral detail/procession for a fallen officer. As Sergeant Ross returned from the funeral detail, he suffered a massive heart attack and his vehicle left the road way. Sergeant Ross was transported to a local hospital and died on April 8, due to his medical condition.
William M. "Mick" Mudd End of Watch: Dec. 16, 2010 Rank: Police Officer Department: Vinita Park Police Department Cause: Heart attack  Age: 38 Years of Service: 14
Officer Mudd assisted emergency medical personnel during a call in Vinita Park by spreading salt on an icy street and sidewalk. He also assisted in carrying a resident to an ambulance after working his night shift. Shortly after, Officer Mudd arrived home, suffered a heart attack and died in his sleep. 



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