Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

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May 15, 2014

Fallen officers remembered

GLASGOW — Local law enforcement agencies paused Thursday to remember their own fallen officers, as well as those across the state and nation.

A ceremony observing National Peace Officers Memorial Day took place in the parking lot of the Glasgow Police Department, where Glasgow officers were joined by members of the Barren County Sheriff’s Office, for whom the memorial hit close to home this year.

Ernest T. Franklin of Glasgow, a BCSO process server, died on duty in April after he suffered a medical event while driving to Glasgow from Cave City. At the beginning of the ceremony, BCSO Deputy Mike Houchens stood solemnly holding a photograph of Franklin that he later placed in the center of a wreath.

With several GPD staff and a couple of sheriff’s deputies behind and beside him, GPD Chief Guy Turcotte introduced the department’s honor guard, which posted the U.S. and Kentucky flags at the podium, accompanied by music from bagpiper Jeff Manning, a lieutenant in the Glasgow Fire Department.

“We are gathered here today to remember and honor officers who gave their lives in the line of duty,” Turcotte said.

The day is part of National Police Week, which President John F. Kennedy designated to honor the people who protect citizens every day, Turcotte said. In 2013, 105 officers died in the U.S. in the line of duty, two of them from Kentucky, he said, and “as of this year, 38 more officers have made the ultimate sacrifice for their community.”

“These losses affect us all,” Turcotte said.

The Kentucky officers were McCracken County Sheriff’s Deputy Chad Shaw and Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis. Turcotte noted the loss of Franklin this year, as well three members of the GPD who died previously in the line of duty: Marshall Collins, who died July 19, 1929; Robert J. Thurman, who died Sept. 18, 1914; and K-9 Officer Ranger on July 20, 2011.

Every day an officer puts on a badge and walks out the door, he is aware he may be asked to put his life on the line, he said. Turcotte later quoted from the Bible, John 15:13, “A greater love has no one than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.”

“Remember these words today and always, and in deepest gratitude with us, share the knowledge that our dear friends rest in peace in a place of honor,” he said. “May God bless the memory of those we lost, and may God continue to bless all the law enforcement officers and their families in the City of Glasgow, Barren County, the state of Kentucky and the United States of America.”

The Rev. Erdie Carter, GPD’s civilian chaplain, led the group of about 30 in a prayer that specifically included Franklin’s family.

Turcotte then carried two wreaths to a member of the honor guard, who then carried them over to an area where memorial markers lay for the three previously fallen GPD officers.

Follis Crow played taps, and Manning played “Amazing Grace” on the pipes as the wreaths were placed. Franklin’s picture was inserted in one of them, and the honor guard saluted.

After the ceremony, Houchens said it meant a lot to participate.

“I was standing there holding a photograph of a fallen comrade,” he said. “He wasn’t only a great influence and worker for this community, he was, most of all, a great person and friend and anyone who knew him would share that same thought and feeling.

“Along with members of the Glasgow Police Department, I know that it was a personal honor to be here today to remember Ernest Franklin and all of the other fallen comrades.”

To learn more, visit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

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