Coleman, KSP honor fallen officers in memorial ceremony


FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky State Police (KSP), Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman and Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Mary Noble paid tribute to 37 fallen troopers, officers and highway patrolmen who have died in the line of duty since the beginning of the KSP.

The annual ceremony is typically held in May during National Police Week, but was rescheduled so the families of the fallen officers could safely gather.

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“These fallen officers served well and protected honorably. Our commonwealth is indebted to the work they did to make this a better Kentucky,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “When tragedy touches our law enforcement family, we all grieve and are continuing to grieve with the families of these 37 heroes we are paying tribute to today. I am honored to be here to remember these Kentuckians not for the way they died, but for the way they lived.”

The agency’s 37 troopers, officers, and highway patrolmen who died in the line of duty.
Source: Kentucky State Police

KSP Commissioner Phillip Burnett shared with the fallen officers’ families that their loved ones’ sacrifices will never be forgotten.

“These heroes will live on in the hearts and minds of every trooper who follows in their footsteps,” said Commissioner Burnett. “It is instilled in each cadet as they enter these grounds the importance of remembering those who paved the path for them. Before they graduate, they know the names and the stories of each of the thirty-seven units we honor today.”

Mary Noble, Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary, met privately with the families before the ceremony began.

“There has never been a more important time in our nation’s history than today to honor the fallen Kentuckians who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect and serve our commonwealth. These brave 37 troopers, officers and highway patrolmen put others before self. They are the best of us. They are our peacemakers,” Secretary Noble said. “Losing an officer is one of the hardest and most tragic situations to go through as a family, friend, law enforcement agency and state. Today, we honor these heroic and courageous individuals who answered and are answering the call to serve and protect Kentucky. You will never be forgotten.”

The service took place at the KSP Training Academy. The Lt. Governor, KSP Commissioner and the KSP Honor Guard laid a wreath to pay tribute to the 37 troopers, officers and highway patrolmen. Additionally, the 202nd Army National Guard Band of Kentucky played Taps immediately after the roll call reading of the fallen officers.

Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman, KSP Commissioner Phillip Burnett, Jr. and KSP Honor Guard laid a wreath at a ceremony at the KSP Training Academy in Frankfort honoring the 37 troopers, officers, and highway patrolmen who have died in the line of duty since the agency’s inception.
Source: Kentucky State Police

The six Kentucky Highway Patrolmen who have died in the line of duty, including their end of watch date, are:

Patrolman James P. Hays: December 21, 1935
Patrolman Robert Rowland: December 22, 1935
Captain Vernon Snell: February 20, 1937
Patrolman Moses H. Littrell: March 14, 1938
Patrolman Houston Greene: May 18, 1944
Patrolman Vadas G. Richardson: October 7, 1944

The 31 troopers and officers who have died in the line of duty, including their end of watch date, are:

Trooper Harold J. Toll: November 14, 1948
Trooper Robert R. Miller: February 14, 1951
Trooper Lee T. Huffman: May 19, 1953
Trooper Herbert C. Bush: October 11, 1958
Trooper William E. Tevis: May 26, 1963
Trooper Elmer Mobley, Jr.: May 28, 1964
Trooper Cecil W. Uzzle: May 28, 1964
Trooper Delano G. Powell: July 8, 1965
Trooper Mack E. Brady: November 9, 1966
Trooper William H. Barrett: December 19, 1971
Trooper James W. McNeely: April 8, 1972
Officer David T. Childs: April 8, 1972
Trooper Walter O. Thurtell: September 29, 1972
Trooper Joseph Ward, Jr.: April 23, 1973
Lieutenant William C. Smith: April 26, 1973
Trooper John W. Hutchinson: June 4, 1975
Trooper Bobby A. McCoun Jr.: September 1, 1975
Trooper William F. Pickard: January 21, 1976
Lieutenant Willis D. Martin: April 26, 1977
Trooper Clinton E. Cunningham: February 11, 1979
Trooper Edward R. Harris: November 7, 1979
Trooper Jerome S. Clifton: October 1, 1980
Detective Darrell V. Phelps: August 7, 1981
Trooper Johnny M. Edrington: December 20, 1988
Trooper Johnny G. Adkins: November 19, 1995
Officer Jason W. Cammack: April 23, 2000
Trooper Jonathan K. Leonard: December 19, 2006
Trooper Anson B. Tribby: January 22, 2013
Trooper Eric K. Chrisman: June 23, 2015
Sergeant David R. Gibbs: August 7, 2015
Trooper J. Cameron Ponder: September 13, 2015

The online fallen Trooper and Officer Memorial can be found on the KSP webpage at