Expansion planned for law officers memorial in Topeka
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Room is running out for names on the memorial honoring Kansas law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, so it will soon be expanded.
Gov. Jeff Colyer and Attorney General Derek Schmidt were among those announcing expansion plans on Monday, the Lawrence Journal-World reported. The project is expected to cost $500,000, funded with private donations. Organizers have already raised about $425,000.
The memorial is outside the Kansas Statehouse. It includes the names of 281 officers, with room for 39 more. Plans call for adding a second concentric ring of memorial markers outside the existing monument so that additional names can be added in future years.
Three more names will be added from this year. Wyandotte County deputies Patrick Rohrer and Theresa Sue King were shot and killed in June while transporting a prisoner. Sedgwick County Deputy Robert Kenneth Kunze III was fatally shot while responding to a suspicious person call in September.
“Our collective hearts cringe at the thought of making more room for the names of officers killed in the line of duty,” Kansas Highway Patrol Superintendent Mark Bruce said. “But by doing so, we pledge to permanently recognize the magnitude of the price they paid.”
The memorial was dedicated in 1987 and includes the names of officers who have died in the line of duty since 1866. The first name on the list was Ogden City Marshal Felix A. Boller, who was shot and killed after observing a group of soldiers that had entered a private home in the town.
In addition to the expansion of the memorial, the state launched a website that enables users to browse through the names on the memorial and read the biographies of those whose names are etched in its stone.
Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com