Hundreds of law enforcement officers from across Missouri will be in Jefferson City on Saturday morning for the annual law enforcement memorial service.
Jefferson City Police Captain Robert Clark says the Missouri State Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) is organizing the event.
“It’s an honor to be able to serve the families and the fallen officers that have passed in the history of the state of Missouri, and I take great honor in doing so,” Clark says.
Four Missouri law enforcement officers’ names will be added to the Law Enforcement Memorial’s Wall of Heroes, during the ceremony.
Captain Clark notes all four men died in the line of duty.
“They were out serving and protecting the public of the state of Missouri, and tragically they were either killed in the line of duty by gunfire or automobile accidents,” says Clark.
The names of Barry County Sheriff’s Department Master Sergeant Carl Cosper Jr. and Clinton Police officer Gary Michael Jr. will be added to the memorial wall.
Both men died in the line of duty in 2017.
The Missouri Department of Public Safety (DPS) notes Cosper died in an April 2017 vehicle collision while responding to a domestic violence call in southwest Missouri’s Seligman. Cosper, who died at a hospital, served 10 years with the Barry County Sheriff’s office.
Officer Michael was shot to death in August during a traffic stop in west-central Missouri’s Clinton. DPS notes Michael had stopped the vehicle for a routine registration violation, when the driver exited the car and opened fire. Despite being hit, Michael returned fire and wounded the gunman, who was captured two days later after a manhunt.
The other two law enforcement officers died in previous years.
Officer Kevin Dziejma of the Village of Miramigua in eastern Missouri died in 2015. DPS says he had made a traffic stop and was conducting warrant checks on two subjects when he collapsed from a heart attack. He died at a hospital.
Dziejma had served in law enforcement for seven years.
The fourth name will be Platte County Sheriff’s deputy Edward Culver, who was shot while breaking up a fight at a Drydale saloon in 1917. DPS notes Culver was able to return fire and killed the gunman. The 60-year-old Culver had served with the Platte County Sheriff’s Office for four years.
Governor Eric Greitens will be a guest speaker at the service. DPS Director Drew Juden will also attend.
“Anybody that’s never been to one of these (ceremonies), I encourage them to come out,” Clark says. “It’s a very somber memorial and we appreciate all the support everybody has given us over the past years.”
During the event, families of the fallen and law enforcement agencies from across Missouri will participate by placing wreaths at the Memorial Wall in Jefferson City.
Click here to listen to the full interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and Jefferson City Police Captain Robert Clark, which was recorded on May 4, 2018:
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