SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) – The annual Illinois Peace Officers Memorial Service to honor law enforcement officers killed in Illinois in the line of duty, including six who died in 2019 and ten who died in 2020, will be held Thursday, May 6 at 11 a.m. at the Illinois Peace Officer Memorial sculpture on the Illinois State Capitol grounds in Springfield.
“This annual ceremony honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their communities,” said Illinois Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge President Chris Southwood. “Every man and woman in this difficult and dangerous profession knows the risks they face every time they put on the badge. This memorial service is a testament to those risks and to the selfless courage of the officers who laid down their lives to keep us safe.”
The 2020 memorial service was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic so this year’s ceremony will recognize officers killed in the line of duty the past two years.
The six officers killed during 2019 include: Trooper First Class Christopher Lambert, Illinois State Police, Jan. 12; Deputy Sheriff Jacob Keltner, McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, March 7; Trooper First Class Brooke Jones-Story, Illinois State Police, March 28; Trooper First Class Gerald Ellis, Illinois State Police, March 30; Deputy Sheriff Troy Chisum, Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, June 25; and Trooper First Class Nicholas Hopkins, Illinois State Police, Aug. 23.
The ten officers killed during 2020 will be recognized during the May 6 ceremony and their names added to the memorial. They include: Officer Marco Di Franco, Chicago Police Department, April 2; Officer Clifford Martin Sr., Chicago Police Department, April 10; Chief Terrence Allen Engle, Hampton Police Department, April 11; Officer Ronald Newman, Chicago Police Department, April 17; Correctional Officer Sheila Rivera, Cook County Sheriff’s Office, April 19; Deputy Sheriff Richard O’Brien, Cook County Sheriff’s Office, May 3; Correctional Officer Antoine Jones, Cook County Sheriff’s Office, May 10; Correctional Officer Jose Marquez, Cook County Sheriff’s Office, June 28; Deputy Sheriff Richard Santiago Jr., Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Oct. 20; and Officer Titus Moore, Chicago Police Department, Nov. 24.
In addition, six officers who were confirmed to have died in the line of duty in the past but who had not yet been officially included on the memorial will be recognized. These include: Assistant City Marshall Herbert Bronson, Charleston Police Department, May 16, 1874; City Marshall John Logan, Lewis Police Department, July 5, 1887; Officer Joseph Hood, Savanna Police Department, Dec. 29, 1929; Officer Bert Plattenberger, Savanna Police Department, Oct. 11, 1945; Deputy Clarence Lanham, McLean County Sheriff’s Office, July 27, 1967; and Officer Owen Masterton, Glenview Police Department, Dec. 6, 2014.
The day’s observance will begin with the lineup of squad cars from around the state from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The procession will depart the fairgrounds at 8:30 a.m. and arrive at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 524 E. Lawrence, for a memorial church service at 9:30 a.m. The procession will then travel to the State Capitol for the 11 a.m. ceremony. The ceremony will be held at the Illinois State Library across the street from the Capitol in case of inclement weather.
The Illinois FOP State Lodge is one of the founding organizations of the Illinois Peace Officers Memorial. The other founding organizations include the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, Illinois Police Association, Illinois Sheriff’s Association, and Police Benevolent and Protective Association. Supporting organizations include Blue Knights of Illinois, Illinois Gold Star Families, and Illinois Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS)
The Illinois Police Officers Memorial Committee was established in 1985. The monument in Springfield bears the names of the officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their communities. Every year on the first Thursday of May, they hold a ceremony to pay tribute to fallen officers and their families. For more information, visit www.illinoispolicememorial.org
The Fraternal Order of Police, founded in 1915, is the largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers in the United States. With a proud tradition of officers representing officers, the FOP is the most respected and most recognized police organization in the country. The Illinois FOP, chartered in 1963, is the second largest State Lodge, proudly representing more than 34,000 active duty and retired police officers – more than 10 percent of all FOP members nationwide. Visit www.ilfop.org for more information.