Memorial Wall honoring fallen police officers is on display
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
Ten law enforcement officer were recently added to a memorial wall created by a local police organization to recognize their service and honor their sacrifice.
National Police Memorial Day was observed on Tuesday, May 15. President John F. Kennedy set aside the date in 1962 as a national day of remembrance for police officers killed or who died as a result injuries sustained in the line of duty.
The Fraternal Order of Police, AuSable Lodge #189 constructed a memorial wall in 2012 honoring and recognizing Michigan police officers killed in the line of duty.
The wall is currently on display at the Crawford County Courthouse.
The wooden tiles on the wall include the names of the police officers, the department where they worked, and their end of watch when they were killed or injured.
The first name on the wall is Charles Ring, who served with the Saginaw Police Department and died in 1864 after he was shot.
The wall now has the names of about 580 fallen officers.
“There may be more that haven’t been discovered and have been lost to history and time,” said Tim Coe, the secretary/treasurer for Fraternal Order of Police, AuSable Lodge #189.
The following names were added to the National Police Officer Memorial Wall, located in Washington D.C., last year:
• Allen Scribner, Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office, June 6, 1913.
• James Sutton, Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office, June 6, 1913.
• Donald Olson Kimbrough, Detroit Police Department, Dec. 7, 2017.
• Ryan Keith Settlemoir, Madison Heights Police Department, June 12, 2009.
• Timothy James O’Neill, Michigan State Police, Sept. 9, 2017.
• Josiah Coates Hazeltine, Muskegon County Sherriff’s Office, Nov. 11, 1908.
• Jonathan William Raymond Ginka, Norton Shores Police Department, May 10, 2017.
• Eric Brian Overall, Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, Nov. 23, 2017.
• Thomas Clarence Bunker, Otsego County Sheriff’s Office, July 7, 2017.
• Danny John Kromer, Taylor Police Department, Sept. 7, 2010.
Coe said the death of the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Deputies were recently discovered through research.
“They were shot and killed while trying to arrest a subject,” Coe said.
Kimbrough was injured by a gunshot decades ago.
“He just died, but the death was attributed to him being shot in 1972,” Coe said.
The names placed on the wall come from Officer Down Memorial web page and the National Law Enforcement Memorial.
The names are added to the wall as the sites are updated.
“We keep it right up to date and do as quick as we can,” Coe said.
The wooden tiles are inscribed with wood etching done by Sylvester”s Decorated Apparel.
“It really comes out nice,” Coe said.
Most of the fallen officers come from the Detroit Police Department, followed by the Michigan State Police, Grand Rapids Police Department and Flint Police Department.
“Fortunately, Crawford County and Grayling doesn’t have any,” Coe said.
The Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #189 meets at 5:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at the Gray Rock Pub & Grub. Each meeting is dedicated to a fallen officer who has recently died or is randomly chosen from history.
The wall has been on display in virtually every corner of the state.
“We will loan it out to any agency and other organization that wants to display it,” Coe said.
It has also been on display Blue Light Ceremonies, which are held at churches to honor all first responders around the Christmas holiday who have died that year.
Donations collected when the wall is displayed are given to a non-profit group planning to construct a law enforcement memorial in Lansing that is not funded by the taxpayers.
“It’s kind of our baby,” Coe said regarding the lodge’s outreach efforts.
Coe, who authored a book on fallen Michigan Sheriff’s Deputies, said most of information obtained about the officers comes from newspaper archives, microfilm and library records.
Now, the internet and websites have sped up the process, along with research officers do on their own departments.
“Now, we can sit at home and do a lot of research from right behind your desk,” Coe said.
Along with the wall, the lodge’s yearly raffle ticket sales support the free Monday community dinners served at the Michelson Memorial United Methodist Church; the Crawford County Community Christian Help Center; Grayling High School’s Project Graduation; and scholarships to Kirtland Community College’s Police Academy.