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June 2012
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Fallen officers honored

BY CARRIE DILLARD cdillard@paducahsun.com

On average, one law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty every 58 hours in the United States.

Since the first known line-of-duty death in 1791, more than 20,000 U.S. law enforcement officers have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Paul Stevenson, president of the Jackson Purchase Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 15, read these statistics Monday during the annual Peace Officer Memorial Service at the McCracken County Courthouse.

The lodge honored 105 law enforcement officers from across the nation who died in 2013, but the ceremony hit close to home as members also paid tribute to one of their own.

McCracken County Sheriff's Deputy Chad D. Shaw wasn't far from the hearts and minds of everyone in attendance. 

"If my voice seems to quiver, if my voice seems to shake, it's because I remember back to that day...," said County Commissioner Jerry Beyer, describing the day in August 2013 that he heard the news of Shaw's death.

Shaw was on duty, working security for an open house at Community Christian Academy, when he started having chest pains. He died later that night at the age of 47.

Beyer has been a member of the FOP since 1972 and has attended every memorial service since, but this year was especially difficult, as he knew Shaw personally.

"I worked with him at Barbecue on the River, and he was a special friend. He was a friend to everyone."

Every law enforcement officer who knew him echoed these sentiments - that Shaw was generous with this time, always there for his fellow officers and for his community.

"Chad is missed. Every time something comes up, with the lodge or personally, he was always helping out," Stevenson said. "We are feeling the impact (of his loss)."

Shaw's wife, Margaret, was unable to attend Monday's memorial service because she had already departed for Washington, D.C., to attend the 2014 National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial unveiling ceremony. Chad Shaw will be one of 286 names  added this year, and one of 17 from Kentucky.

Detective Sarah Martin will escort Margaret Shaw to the unveiling ceremony. Martin stated each family member of the fallen must be escorted by a uniformed officer, and she was asked to be that officer.

"It was an honor," said Martin, who describes herself as a personal friend of the family.

Two members of the local Fraternal Order of Police and 11 others from the McCracken County Sheriff's Department will also be there to support Shaw's family at the national ceremony Thursday.

As Monday's local memorial ceremony concluded, Kentucky Court of Appeals Judge Shea Nickell reminded everyone that the day was "not only for the ones who gave the ultimate sacrifice and for Chad Shaw, but for all those (officers) standing before you .... A grateful community says thank you and God bless."

Contact Carrie Dillard, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8657.

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