For 10 years, Hazard Police Department Chief Minor Allen said, he has wanted to create a memorial for officers who have paid the supreme sacrifice in Perry County. This year, that dream has become a reality, and on March 24, the department began the partial installation of a monument commemorating local law enforcement officers that have died in the line of duty.
“The center stone portion of it is there, which depicts all three agencies,” said Allen, stating the HPD still has other pieces pending that have been ordered but not delivered. Those pieces, he said, should be delivered in around two months. “I'm tickled to death to be able to get that portion in so far.”
The city, Allen said, has honored our war heroes in many places, but not those who laid down there lives serving the people in our city and county. This project, he said, is hoped to change that.
“We wanted to honor them in a way, because they've never been honored,” said Allen. “There's no memorial for them.
“We felt law enforcement needed to be honored in a central location as well,” said Allen. “It'll be a place where those families can come reflect on and remember their loved ones, and (it will) be a centralized location to show what it costs sometimes to live peacefully in the community.”
Allen said he wants the monument to look nice and will have many features and details to make it appealing.
“It ought to be something special to see in the day time and especially so at night,” said Allen, adding that the monument will have full detail color etching, will have a blue light around it to represent the thin blue line, will have sponsors listed and will list the agencies, officers and death information. It's very satisfying to see it outside my window.”
The funding for the project, he said, was raised through donations.
“We raised almost $12,000 to build that,” said Allen. The main portion of the money is being used to purchase stone and pay for installation or delivery, he said, and the rest will be used for maintenance and addition of names if needed. “If we have to add more names to it, which God forbid we ever do, but the reality of the way the world is that's possibly going to happen.”
Allen said the monument means a lot to him and his department, as well as the community.
“It's a great honor to be part of this. It's humbling really when you think of it and think back on all those people who gave their lives,” said Allen. “It's a difficult job that's gotten to be more difficult as times went by. When I started in ’85 it's a totally different world than what we had back then. It's just mounting and weighs on your soul,” he said.
The HPD, Allen said, is working with Lt. Jeff Richie of the Perry County Sheriff's Office, and has formed a committee of both departments, consisting of three officers and three deputies, to ensure that the project is taken care of.
Allen said once complete, the monument will list a total of 26 law enforcement officers that have died in the line of duty in the last 120 years in Perry County. Additionally, he said, they have more names that still need to be added at the state level.
The officers that the memorial project is planned to honor will include three Hazard Police Department members, 16 Perry County Deputies, two Constables, one Kentucky State Police Trooper and one Railroad Detective. Two of them, Allen said, were killed outside Perry County in the line of duty, one in Breathitt and another in Harlan, however they lived or were assigned to Perry County during the time.
The fallen heroes include:
HAZARD POLICE DEPARTMENT
Patrolman Alford Holland EOW 12-6-1922
Patrolman Russell S. Wooten EOW 7-6-1920
Town marshal Roy J. Draughn EOW 12-18-1913
PERRY COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT
Deputy Alex Eversole EOW 1-4-1983
Deputy Hiram A. Ritchie EOW 6-30-1980
Deputy Sam Fields EOW 11-10-1956
Deputy George Puckett EOW 4-26-1950
Deputy Bill Baker EOW 3-11-1950
Deputy Jerry Stamper EOW 3-4-1950
Deputy James Cornett EOW 12-24-1943
Deputy Elhanon Jones EOW 2-10-1940
Deputy Borkan Jones EOW 3-29-1929
Deputy Mack Summers EOW 12-23-1928
Deputy William Smith EOW 12-24-1923
Deputy Robert H. Napier EOW 12-21-1922
Deputy James Holiday EOW 9-22-1922
Deputy Richard J. Crawford EOW 8-4-1922
Deputy Walter N. Campbell EOW 9-23-1921
Deputy Lem Nolan EOW 10-10-1916
CSX RAILROAD POLICE
Special Agent Shelby w. Nease EOW 7-18-1989
KENTUCKY STATE POLICE
Trooper Delano G. Powell EOW 7-8-1965
PERRY COUNTY CONSTABLES OFFICE
Constable Thomas J. Wilder EOW 5-20-1926
Deputy Marshal Schley Wilder EOW 2-21-1926.