Fallen officers and troopers honored by police agencies

Mary Katherine Sanders (third from right) and Laura Lambert (second from right) unveil a footstone dedicated Wednesday at the grave of their great-uncle, Paducah Police Officer William Romain. Romain was killed on duty in 1917. The department dedicated footstones at the graves of four fallen officers Wednesday.

Regional law enforcement agencies honored personnel who fell in the line of duty as part of national Peace Officers' Memorial Week on Wednesday.

The Paducah Police Department paid its respects to four fallen officers, placing flags and wreaths on their graves at Mount Kenton Cemetery and Oak Grove Cemetery on Wednesday afternoon. The agency also unveiled new footstones that identified the deceased as officers who died in the line of duty.

"It's very heartwarming to know after all these years that people still remember and will honor someone," said Mary Katherine Sanders, great-niece of Officer William Romain, who was shot and killed after confronting a group of men who were causing a disturbance in 1917.

Sanders and another of Romain's great-nieces, Laura Lambert, attended the ceremony for Romain at Mount Kenton.

"I really appreciate all the Paducah Police Department has done," said David Maddox, who serves as chief deputy of the Marshall County Sheriff's Office. His great-grandfather, William Poore, was among the officers honored at Oak Grove Cemetery. Poore died in 1928 after he fell through a train trestle and sustained a severe head injury while searching for two suspects, Paducah police spokeswoman Robin Newberry said.

Although Maddox never got a chance to meet his ancestor, he said Poore's service influenced generations of his family, including his grandfather, who served in both the Paducah Police Department and the local fire department, and himself. Maddox has been with the Marshall County Sheriff's Office for 30 years.

"It was one of those things that's destined to be," he said.

The other fallen Paducah officers are Cal Smith and James Phelps.

Smith was ambushed and shot to death in 1893, after a man who'd been arrested and released on bond came looking for the officer who arrested him and mistook Smith for that man. Phelps died from a heart attack in 1894, after he rushed into a burning building to search for anyone who'd been trapped.

Detective Matt Scheer, a member of the police department's honor guard, and Jerry Beyer of the Wilbert Vault Co. worked for about a year on the footstones. Newberry said the department is thankful to Wilbert Vault for its help with the project.

Post 1 of the Kentucky State Police also held memorial services at two locations in Graves County on Wednesday.

The ceremonies at the Post 1 memorial honored Trooper Eric K. Chrisman, who was fatally injured in 2015 while en route to a reckless driving complaint in Livingston County, and Trooper Joseph "Cameron" Ponder, who was shot to death in 2015 while conducting a traffic stop in Lyon County.

Troopers then traveled to Mayfield Memory Gardens to place a wreath at the gravesite of Trooper James W. McNeely, who drowned in 1972 during a flood rescue mission in Franklin County and has a memorial in Wingo.

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