Firestone Police Department Participates in Weld County Fallen Officer Memorial Groundbreaking
A crowd of uniformed officers, community officials and local residents gathered March 1, 2012, at Bittersweet Park in Greeley to break ground for the new Weld County Fallen Officers Memorial. Firestone Police Department Chief David Montgomery and Commander Bryce Borders attended the event. Montgomery played an active role in the groundbreaking by turning dirt with the ceremonial shovel to honor Firestone Officer Richard E. Hart, who was killed in the line of duty in 1982.
Hart is one of seven men throughout Weld County who will have their name etched in the memorial, which should be complete by mid-May. Other officers honored on the memorial will include Lee S. Whitman, Greeley Police Department, 1935; Earl J. Bucher, Weld County Sheriff’s Office, 1940; Wallace M. McCarty, Colorado State Patrol, 1946; Richard Ware, Evans Police Department, 1953; James M. Longworth, Greeley Police Department, 1976; and Samuel K. Brownlee, Weld County Sheriff’s Office, 2010.
The memorial began from the efforts of Brownlee’s widow, Audra, who wanted a bench that would honor her late husband. From there, the project quickly evolved into a memorial that would honor all officers within Weld County who gave their lives for service.
“It is important to show our sincere appreciation for our fallen peace officers of Weld County,” Montgomery said. “I find no better way of paying tribute than to build a Fallen Officer Memorial in Weld County to honor our fallen heroes.”
The memorial will be star shaped, like the Weld Sheriff’s badge. Robb Casseday, Greeley City Council member and sole architect on the project, donated his time and architecture firm’s resources to design the project. The center of the memorial will include a sundial sculpture designed by Debbie Dalton of Greeley Monument Works. The memorial will be donated to the City of Greeley to become a part of its permanent public art collection.
Funding for the memorial has been provided mainly through donated time and resources. The cost of the memorial is about $160,000.
For more information about the memorial, visit www.weldfallenofficersmemorial.org.
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