I’ve lived a precarious life thus far by no choice of my own. A mentally unstable man tried to get into my home as a teen, a masked gunman robbed the bank where I was a very pregnant teller and I had a flat tire and spare on the highway out of town to name a few instances. Every single time, a law enforcement officer (LEO) came to the rescue and I have no doubt they would do the same for you. I even appreciate being pulled over for excessive speed when I was young and careless.
The officers I have spoken with over the years do not see themselves as heroes; they simply shrug and say, “I was just doing my job.” I admire their humility (a sign of a true hero) but in my book, anyone who puts their life on the line on a daily basis for the good of others is a hero, including the ones who have died in the line of duty.
As a community, it is so important that we support all of our officers and their families any way we can—be it with prayer, respect, or a bit of our time, if we are able.
Police Week is coming up May 12th along with the National Peace Officer Memorial Day on May 15th, declared by President John F. Kennedy in 1962. This event happens in Washington, DC and draws thousands of law enforcement officers.
I would like to invite you to the scheduled Memorial for Creek County officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty; it will be held on Thursday, May 9th at the Creek County Courthouse. Our Senator James Leewright will be the guest speaker.
I recently sat down with Captain Steve Thompson and Sergeant Mike Sole with the Sapulpa Police Department. Sgt. Sole is also the President of the local Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). They said the upcoming Memorial is a partnership between the Sapulpa Police and Sheriff Departments and the Creek County and Sapulpa Fraternal Order of Police Lodges.
This event honors not only the fallen officers but also their families. Sgt. Sole said, “The families have front row seating and they are escorted by a member of the Honor Guard to lay a single rose at the foot of the Monument.” The monument sits between the Sheriff’s office and Courthouse by the outdoor gazebo in downtown Sapulpa. Eight more fallen officers will be added this year, two of which lost their lives in the 1900s, their stories only recently being discovered.
Cpt. Thompson is passionate about the history of our Law Enforcement and keeping it alive. In fact, he types out a remembrance memorial and leaves copies at the Police Station for his co-worker’s to see on the anniversary of an officer’s passing to honor their memory. He is also responsible for sending the door of Sapulpa Police Officer Larry Cantrell’s patrol car to the National Law Enforcement Museum located in Washington, DC which opened last year. It is signed by every Sapulpa police officer and is currently on display.
Sitting at a table in the Sapulpa FOP lodge, I looked at huge scrapbooks containing so many memories. Framed pictures of late officers adorn the walls. Speaking to Sheriff Bowling previously and now Sgt. Sole and Cpt. Thompson only increased my desire to spread awareness. I can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voices; a part of their team is missing and their memories will never fade. The amount of brotherly love, honor, and respect they have is moving.
Retired officers are welcome to join in the march between the Sapulpa Police Station and the Court House parking lot. Please show up in uniform at the Police Station a little before 6 p.m. Family members of fallen Creek County officers are welcome to donate any item(s) to be displayed in the future that represents their officer. The Honor Guard will be firing a volley of blank shots, so be prepared for some noise. Any questions please contact Dean Wise or Fred Clark with the Sheriff’s office 918-224-4964.
Please mark your calendars for Thursday, May 9th, 6 p.m. at the Creek County Courthouse parking lot. When we show up we are supporting our officers and honoring the memories of those who paid the ultimate price. Let’s never forget there are families of officers who have an empty chair at their dining room table. Will you join us?
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 KJV