The service and sacrifice of members of law enforcement was commemorated with the annual Peace Officers Memorial Ceremony Tuesday evening at McPherson Free Methodist Church and with the Memorial Tribute Ceremony Wednesday morning at McPherson Cemetery.
McPherson Police Chief Robert McClarty conducted both events, which were attended by members of multiple law enforcement agencies along with other first responder agencies and the public.
"Pray for our country, our community and our police officers, deputies, troopers and all others who are law enforcement officers in our community and across our great nation, that these officers may return home nightly, unscathed by the rancor that they encounter daily, that they may recognize the nobility in their profession and that they may be the guardian of their fellow man," McClarty said at the Peace Officers Memorial Ceremony.
The Peace Officers Memorial Ceremony included the presentation and posting of the colors by the McPherson Police Department Honor Guard, an invocation by Chaplain David Kessler, a reading of Scripture by Capt. Todd Martens and "Amazing Grace" played by member of the McPherson Pipe and Drum band.
McClarty, along Det. Ayeshah Munden and officers Phillip Burkhart William Burgess, Connor Davis, Jacob Pearson, Tyler Watts and Jon Yates, led the Fallen Officer Table Presentation.
At the Memorial Tribute Ceremony, McClarty placed a wreath at the grave of Charles M. Bruce, a night chief who was shot and killed when he and his partner, Lyle Littlefield, attempted to stop a burglary at a gas station in McPherson on May 14, 1933.
The only other law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty in McPherson County was Martin H. Grant, a night chief who suffered a fatal heart attack after struggling with the intoxicated person he was arresting.
Three law enforcement officers died in the line of duty in Kansas in 2018: Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office Dept. Theresa King, Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office Dept. Patrick Rohrer and Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office Dept. Robert Kunze III.
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