Aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, friends, parents, grandparents, great grandparents. So many of us have several in our lives past and present who have served and worn the badge proudly. It takes a special person to put your life on the line for others and National Police Week is just one way we can honor them for their courage.
A ceremony will take place in Washington, D.C. in May to honor law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. KCRG says several of the officers honored will be from the state of Iowa. They've given their lives in service in a variety of ways and these are their stories.
Theodore L Benda
Died: 10//20/21. Trooper Ted Benda of Decorah was a state trooper with the Iowa State Patrol. Benda died in an accident after swerving to miss a deer on the way to a call.
Broderick R Daye
Died: 8/28/21. Broderick Daye was a Parole Officer with the 5th Judicial District in Des Moines. Daye died from complications as the result of contracting COVID-19 in the line of duty.
Robert L McFarland
Died: 3/23/21. Robert McFarland of Ely, Iowa was a Corrections Officer at Anamosa State Penitentiary and was killed in an attack by inmates.
Richard W Newkirk
Died: 11/3/21. A Corrections Officer at Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Oakdale, Richard Newkirk was from North Liberty. Newkirk died from complications as the result of contracting COVID-19 in the line of duty.
Died: 1/8/21. Steven Reighard was a Conservation Officer with Iowa DNR in Dickinson County. Reighard died from complications as the result of contracting COVID-19 in the line of duty.
Lorena Y Schulte
Died: 3/23/21. A nurse at Anamosa State Penitentiary, from Cedar Rapids, Lorena Schulte was killed in an attack by inmates.
James K Smith
Died: 4/9/21. An officer with the Iowa State Patrol, from Independence, James Smith was killed in a standoff in Grundy Center.
Michael D Teachout
Died: 11/28/20. Teachout was a Correctional Officer from Shenandoah. He died from complications as the result of contracting COVID-19 in the line of duty.
Robert J Vidimos II
Died: 11/16/20. A correctional officer from Ames, assigned to the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville. Vidimos died from complications as the result of contracting COVID-19 in the line of duty.
William Elvin "Pop" Hickman
Died: 12/6/57. According to Iowacops.org, Hickman was a night officer with the Indianola Police Department, who "responded to an accident about two blocks east of the intersection at Iowa Highway 92 and U.S. Highway 65/69 in Indianola on a damp November night in 1957." Hickman died as a result of an acute post-operative pulmonary embolism following this incident.
Died: 8/13/19. Lyon County Sheriff's Deputy Stephanie Schreurs was involved in an automobile accident on K-52 near Rock Rapids, Iowa on August 9, 2019, and died 4 days later of injuries sustained from that accident. She served for 24 years and is survived by her four children.
National Police Week takes place May 15-21. According to their website, it began in 1962 after a proclamation signed by President John F. Kennedy to make May 15 National Peace Officers Memorial Day. The occasion of the national memorial for fallen officers began in 1982 and is meant to offer "honor, remembrance, and peer support while allowing law enforcement, survivors, and citizens to gather and pay homage to those who gave their lives in the line of duty."
These fallen heroes and others from across the country will be recognized on May 15. The surviving family members will have an opportunity to place a flower on a wreath honoring their fallen officer. The service begins at 11:00 a.m. and will last about 2 hours. We thank them and their loved ones for their service.