To the editor:
On Friday, March 10, 1916, a shot rang out in Marion and City Marshal Virgil Elmer Healea became the first Marion County peace officer to die in the line of duty.
Since that fateful day, four other peace officers have died in the line of duty.
On Sept. 17, 1929, Florence Chief of Police Adolph J. Eichenberger was killed when he interrupted a burglary of a store.
On Oct. 9, 1949, Florence City Marshal Dave Break was killed after stopping a suspected drunk driver.
On Oct. 30, 1975, Florence Chief of Police Robert Wesley Rau was killed when his service revolver accidentally discharged while he was on duty.
On May 22, 1979, Goessel Reserve Officer John T. Morgan was killed when he responded to a domestic disturbance.
Since 1860, 239 Kansas peace officers have died in the line of duty. Visit www.odmp.org for more information.
National Police Memorial Day is Saturday when all officers who have died in the line of duty during 2009 will be honored. I ask that each of you take some time during the day to say a prayer for the families of each of these officers.
I am not a Kansas peace officer, however, I did grow up in Marion and later served 20 years with the Longview Police Department in Longview, Texas. During my tenure, I coordinated the Gregg County Peace Officer Memorial for more than 10 years. During my 20 years, we lost three officers in the county and one was one of my sergeants.
I do not recall any articles in the newspaper honoring these Marion County peace officers, so I wanted to take the time to make sure that from now on, they will be.
Rest in peace, my brothers, rest in peace.
Officer Terry L. Conyers, Ret.
Longview Police Department