Remembering fallen peace officers
La PORTE COUNTY — For the 20th consecutive year, law enforcement officials from across La Porte County will gather next week to pay tribute to fallen comrades.
The annual La Porte County Law Enforcement Memorial Service will be conducted May 10 to honor 14 fallen officers who have been killed in the line of duty in La Porte County, a number that increased by one over the last year, according to Michigan City Police Chief Mark Swistek.
The guest speaker for this year’s ceremony will be Cook County (Illinois) Sheriff Tom Dart, named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2009 because of his groundbreaking humanitarian work in stopping evictions.
Dart is no stranger to memorial services. One of his own deputies was killed in late March in a high-speed crash in suburban Chicago Ridge, Illinois. In late January, another deputy was killed in a crash on Chicago’s Southwest Side. And in December 2018, a Cook County correctional officer died in a crash in suburban Woodridge.
The public is invited to attended the ceremony, which begins at noon on Friday, May 10, in the auditorium of the former Elston High School at 317 Detroit St. in Michigan City. A luncheon will be served immediately following the service.
Surviving family members will be recognized for their sacrifices, Swistek said. Representatives from agencies which have had officers killed – including the Indiana Department of Correction, Indiana State Police, Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad Police, La Porte County Sheriff’s Department, and the Michigan City, Long Beach and La Porte police departments – will take part in the ceremony.
The La Porte County law enforcement “End of Watch Roll Call” includes:
n Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway Police Det. Charles Frederick Silversides, fatally struck by a train on Monday, July 12, 1909, and added to the list this year
n Michigan City Police Capt. Joseph O. Zimmerman, fatally shot on May 3, 1921
n Michigan City Police Patrolman George Spencer, fatally shot on May 3, 1921
n Michigan City Police Patrolman Charles L. Glafke, fatally shot on Dec. 4, 1930
n Long Beach Police Chief Marshal Ephraim V. Reid, killed in an automobile crash on Sept. 15, 1933
n Indiana State Police Trooper William Raymond Dixon, fatally shot on June 28, 1938
n Long Beach Police Chief Marshal Earle M. Platt, who died of a heart attack on Oct. 25, 1956
n La Porte Police Patrolman Thomas Gregory Ciecka, fatally struck by a vehicle on Sept. 5, 1962
n Indiana State Police Trooper Lewis Edward Phillips, killed in an automobile crash on April 16, 1975
n Department of Corrections Officer Harold Edward Rice, killed in an assault on Dec. 29, 1976
n La Porte County Sheriff’s Patrolman Neil G. Thompson, killed in a vehicular assault on Sept. 21, 1980
n La Porte Police Sgt. Richard Jacob Lawrence, who died of a heart attack on Sept. 9, 1988
n Department of Corrections Officer Phillip K. Curry, fatally stabbed on Dec. 13, 1994
n Long Beach Police Chief Marshal James R. Kautz, fatally struck by a vehicle on Dec. 4, 1997
—From staff reports