January 31, 1998 in Idaho

Police To Honor Fallen Comrades Memorial Would Be Raised At State Training Academy

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Coeur d’Alene police Capt. Carl Bergh flipped through a 10-page list of officers killed in the line of duty.

U.S. Forest Service officer Brent Jacobson, 41. Shot to death Jan. 2, 1989, near Sandpoint while tracking two robbery and kidnapping suspects. Married. Two children.

Osburn Police officer Chuck Ashton, 23. Shot to death Aug. 17, 1976, during a traffic stop on Interstate 90. Married. One child.

Idaho State Police officer Walter Cox, 48. Died March 6, 1970, in a collision with a train north of Post Falls. Married. One child.

The North Idaho officers are part of a list of 46 statewide who have died on duty. A push by officers around the state would put their names on a memorial to commemorate fallen officers.

The memorial, planned for the state police training academy, would “show recognition and honor to those officers who have put their lives on the line and made the ultimate sacrifice,” Michael Becar, memorial fund foundation president, said Friday. It also would give friends, family members and colleagues a place to pay their respects, he said.

Idaho is one of only a handful of states that does not have a memorial.

Statistics show that nationwide an officer is killed in the line of duty every third day, Becar said. In Idaho, 46 city, county, state and federal officers have fallen since 1904.

Names of those officers would be engraved on a plaque.

“It stands as a remembrance that those people have been out there on a daily basis and they might have to give their lives to protect your community,” Bergh said.

Organizers have been collecting money for nearly two years and hope the $150,000 Idaho Peace Officers Memorial will be completed by May 15. That day is set aside every year for officers around the country to remember their fallen colleagues.

So far, more than $112,000 has been collected for the project. Organizers must collect $15,000 more before construction bids are opened on Feb. 10.

The remaining project money, which backers hope to collect while the memorial is built, will be placed into an account to maintain the site.

Most of the money has been raised through the sale of commemorative bricks and clothing.

Sketches of the memorial show a disappearing creek at the center of a giant brick star walkway. The memorial would be positioned in front of the Idaho Department of Law Enforcement office in Meridian, near Boise.

The state police training academy used by officers from around the state is located there.

“Every law enforcement officer goes to work with the reality that something tragic could happen while they’re doing their jobs,” Bergh said. “It’s not something they verbalize, but it’s there somewhere.”

, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story:

TO DONATE

Anyone interested in making a contribution, buying a brick or requesting a presentation about the memorial for their group should call Coeur d’Alene police Capt. Carl Bergh at 769-2290. Videos explaining the memorial also are available for groups to check out.

This sidebar appeared with the story: TO DONATE Anyone interested in making a contribution, buying a brick or requesting a presentation about the memorial for their group should call Coeur d’Alene police Capt. Carl Bergh at 769-2290. Videos explaining the memorial also are available for groups to check out.


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