Putnamville—The Indiana State Police Post at Putnamville held their annual memorial service today to honor those members of the department who gave their lives in the line of duty.
Troopers were brought to attention and prepared for roll call by Putnamville District Squad Sergeant Chris Wright. Opening prayer was given by Indiana State Police Chaplain John Lefler. Members of the Putnamville District Honor Guard then displayed the national and state flags as Lieutenant Dan Jones, Commander of the Putnamville District, and First Sergeant Matt Mischler, Assistant Commander of the Putnamville District, read each fallen member’s name, along with a description of the circumstances surrounding their death.
After reading the names of the fallen officers, four bagpipe soloists, retired ISP Lieutenant Rick Hammer, Steve Bond, a retired ISP Master Trooper and current Lieutenant with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Jail Division, Kent Evans and Charlie Pike, all from the Indianapolis 500 Gordon Pipers Horse Shoe Pipes and Drums, played “Amazing Grace”. The ceremony concluded with the playing of “Taps” by Cloverdale High School student Abel Bates and Jeremiah Poole of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. The closing benediction was given by Indiana State Police Chaplain Dick Smith.
Members of the Honor Guard were Troopers James Crisp, Brian Thomas, Austin Fowler, Jonathan Haugh and Joseph Malone. Veteran Honor Guard member Senior Trooper Chuck Murphy coordinated the unit for today’s service.
Members of the 21 Gun Salute Live Firing Team were Sergeant Matt Marshall, Sergeant Matt Simmons, Sergeant Katrina Smith, Master Trooper Chris McCawley, Senior Trooper Nate Adams, Trooper Dustin Zehnder, Trooper Ross Johnson, and Trooper Brandon Farias.
A total of 46 members of the Indiana State Police, both men and women, have died in the line duty since the department’s inception in 1933.
Since the early days of the Indiana State Police, memorial services have been held each May at all Indiana State Police districts to perpetuate the memory of those who have died in the line of duty. The service serves as a means of paying tribute to those who died in the line of duty, that their sacrifice was not made in vain, and as a reminder to those of us left behind that we should strive to maintain the level of professional service to the public our departed comrades so unselfishly gave their lives for. The first ever memorial service was held on Memorial Day of 1943 at the former Ligonier Post in northern Indiana.
For a complete listing of Indiana Troopers killed in the line of duty and a summary of their deaths, visit the Indiana State Police website at www.in.gov/isp and click on the “In Memoriam” link on the left side of the page.