Justice and Public Safety Cabinet
Ceremony Honors the Sacrifice of Four Fallen Kentucky Officers
DOCJT adds four names to the Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial
RICHMOND, Ky. – “Sadly, in our country, an officer is killed approximately every 53 hours,” said Robert C. White, chief of the Louisville Metro Police Department and keynote speaker at today’s Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony. Yet, despite this, every day, all 365 days a year, officers come when they are needed – you call, we come. And come with the understanding that we might have to make incredible decisions or rise to the occasion to do courageous things, even if it involves making a supreme sacrifice.”
Today’s ceremony at the Department of Criminal Justice Training honored four new names added to the Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial, the state’s only monument to all of Kentucky’s fallen peace officers.
Three of the four names memorialized on the monument this year were killed in the line of duty during 2005, including Peter A. Grignon, Louisville Metro Police Department; Roger D. Lynch, Livingston County Sheriff’s Office and Larry D. Cottingham, Henderson County Sheriff’s Office. The fourth name honored at the ceremony, Mack Summers, Perry County Sheriff’s Office, was killed in the line of duty in 1928, but was only added to the national memorial this year.
During the ceremony, Chief White spoke specifically of the Louisville department’s loss of Officer Grignon.
“As most of you know, our department lost Officer Peter Grignon during the line of duty this past year. At that time I said, ‘Other than the loss of my children, I can’t think of a more difficult time in my life.’ And I will tell you to this day, I still believe that,” he said.
White highlighted how the officers honored during the ceremony commemorated the risks and responsibilities faced by each law enforcement officer every day.
“[Grignon’s family] shared Peter’s life with me, his dreams of becoming a police officer, his commitment to serving others and, most of all, his deep and abiding faith in God. And I believe it was that faith that allowed Officer Peter Grignon, Deputy Roger Lynch, Sgt. Larry Cottingham and Deputy Mack Summers to answer the call for service that so many others seek to avoid,” White said. “I don’t have to tell you that these men were brave. I don’t have to tell you that they were selfless or committed to duty no matter what the odds. Their lives serve as a testimony to their commitment of making the world a better place to live.”
Officer Peter A. Grignon was killed March 23, 2005 when he was called to the 2600 block of Accasia Drive where there was a report of vehicle in a front yard. By the time he arrived, the car was gone, but upon investigating, he found the car on fire in field about two blocks away. Near the scene, Grignon found two men at about 6:35 a.m. One man shot Grignon in the neck and mouth. The shooter then turned the gun on himself and killed himself.
Deputy Roger D. Lynch was killed June 2, 2005 during a shoot out with a suspect at a residence in Ledbetter, about 10 miles southeast of Paducah. Lynch responded to a domestic violence complaint at the residence of Joseph Calender. Calender, armed with a semi-automatic assault rifle and a loaded handgun, was in the basement of the house. After meeting Lynch at the top of the basement stairway, Calender shot at the deputy, hitting him twice. Lynch then fired one fatal bullet before succumbing to his own injuries.
Sgt. Larry D. Cottingham suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after disarming a suicidal woman January 1, 2005. Cottingham had responded to the scene, calmed and disarmed the woman and then escorted her to the local emergency room. Shortly after returning to the station, Cottingham began feeling ill and was immediately transported to the hospital. He remained in intensive care until passing away two days later, on January 3, 2005.
Deputy Mack Summers was shot and killed December 23, 1928 while attempting to arrest an intoxicated person who was firing a gun.
Shortly after unveiling the monument on which the names of these four officers joined the hundreds preceding them, Kentucky Law Enforcement Council Chairman William Walsh emphasized the purpose behind the monument and the ceremony.
“If there are any words of consolation that we can give to the members of their families it is that with the etching of their names in this memorial, these names are etched into the shared memory of the Commonwealth citizens,” he said. “And that each of us who pass by this memorial, whether we be student, instructor, seasoned law enforcement professional or ordinary citizen, look upon it, look at those names, remember the sacrifice and say a gentle prayer.”
Located prominently at the entrance of the Department of Criminal Justice Training, the Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial was first unveiled in 2000. The Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation, founded to build the unique monument, has since expanded its programs to include endowments to Kentucky peace officers and their families with educational, medical and emergency financial relief.