July 07, 2011

Honoring Fallen Officer's Service Following Joplin Tornado

City of Riverside Master Patrolman Jeff Taylor, who was killed by lightning, was honored on July 6

On July 6, Riverside Master Patrolman Jeff Taylor was memorialized at a ceremony in Joplin's Public Safety and Justice Center. Chief Lane Roberts presented Taylor's family with the Joplin Police Department's Medal of Honor, and unveiled a picture of Taylor and a plaque that will be part of Joplin's Wall of Honor.

On May 23, Taylor went to Joplin with 11 other police officers, firefighters and public works staff members from the City of Riverside, Missouri, following the massive tornado that devastated Joplin the day before. On May 23, Taylor was fatally injured by lightning. He was working in one of the most heavily damaged areas of Joplin, and had just driven a fire official to a command post when he was struck. Taylor died on June 3, and is survived by his wife, Kelly, and their two sons, Caden, 5 and Cameron, 3.

Gov. Jay Nixon and Missouri Department of Public Safety Director John M. Britt joined Joplin Police Chief Lane Roberts and Riverside Police Chief Greg Mills in honoring Taylor at the service.

Gov. Nixon praised Taylor and all Missouri public safety officers for their efforts to protect their fellow Missourians. At Taylor's June 8 funeral, Gov. Nixon said Taylor and other emergency responders “have a spirit that compels them to run toward trouble, not away from it." 

In all, more than 400 public safety agencies from Missouri and other states sent officer to Joplin to assist in the aftermath of the EF-5 tornado that killed more than 150 people.

Master Patrolman Taylor began his career in law enforcement in 2001 with the Webb City Police Department. He graduated from the Missouri Southern Law Enforcement Academy in May 2001.


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