Officers who lost their lives in 2021 added to monument, five historical names also added
RICHMOND, Ky. (May 26, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear, along with the Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation (KLEMF) and the Department of Criminal Justice Training (DOCJT), honored the Kentucky law enforcement officers who lost their lives in 2021 in service to the commonwealth.
“It is truly a selfless sacrifice when one voluntarily chooses to wear the badge of honor that places them in dangerous and unpredictable situations," Gov. Beshear said during the 22nd annual memorial ceremony. “Today, we show our appreciation for these officers' heroism, and we recognize that our public safety, our freedom and our prosperity were bought at a price."
The Governor said that 12 officer names have been added to the KLEMF monument this year including five historical honorees.
This year's ceremony honored:
- 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.
The five historical honorees added to the monument this year 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.
KLEMF seeks to recognize all Kentucky peace officers who gave their lives in service to the commonwealth. The monument, located on DOCJT's campus, now holds 570 names of Kentucky officers who have died in the line of duty since 1845.
Louisville Metro Police Lt. Andrew Rodman, brother of LMPD Officer Nick Rodman who was killed in the line of duty in 2017 during a vehicle pursuit, spoke during the ceremony offering comfort to the families whose loved ones lost their lives this past year.
“Moving forward is not forgetting your loved one, but honoring them by living a life they would be proud of," Rodman said during the ceremony.
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.