KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Kansas City Missouri Police Department honored 119 officers killed in the line of duty Thursday.
Captain Donna Greenwell read the names of all KCPD officers killed in the line of duty - the first in 1881 and the last in 2001. For 119 hours preceding the service, dispatchers read one officer's name per hour over the police radio system. The last officer's name, Craig Schultz, was read immediately before the ceremony began.
“They are represented by the 119 flags you see before you," said KCPD Chief Darryl Forte. "It's extremely important to remember those who have given the ultimate, their lives, to keep the city safe."
A memorial service at the police academy athletic field started at 10 a.m. and included an honor guard, a 21-gun salute, the KCPD Color Guard, bagpipes, a flyover by the police helicopter and a riderless horse representing fallen officers.
Officer Randy Evans spoke about how his father died in the line of duty when the younger was a child. Service with the police runs deep in his family tree and he remembered the day he found out about his dad, Patrolman Robert Evans.
It was "October 14, 1971,” he said.
Patrolman Evans was struck by a vehicle and killed while conducting a traffic stop in the 7200 block of East 24 Highway.
“An oncoming vehicle driven by an oncoming vehicle came at them,” said his son.
Patrolman Evans was thrown over 70 feet and killed. The driver he stopped suffered two broken legs.
According to a news release, Patrolman Evans served with the Kansas City Police Department for seven years and was in the United States Army for three years. He was survived by his wife and child. Years after the accident, Randy Evans joined the force.
“His dad died when he was a little boy and now he can stand up there and talk about it and now he is here continuing a family legacy which I think is great,” said Forte.