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Ceremony held to add names to first responder memorial in Kentucky

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News First at Four
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 3:20 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Ky. (WYMT) - More names have been added to the Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial.

Since 2007, the memorial has been in Richmond, near the Department of Criminal Justice Training Center. It was moved there after the original memorial became too small for all the names that were being added.

Thursday, seven officers who died in the line of duty last year were recognized, along with five others who are historical honorees.

Hassan Hassan, Wagner Baskett, Jr., Gary Crump, Brandon Shirley, Oliver Little, Robert Daniel and Zachary Cottongim were read. All of those officers were line-of-duty deaths last year. But, also recognized were historical honorees of Albert J. Franklin, Alonzo Robinson, Isaac Pennington, Marion Lane and George T. Benz.

The first memorial, when it was dedicated 22 years ago, had 295 names on it. Officers who died since 1845. Now, at its current location, there are 570 names.

Governor Andy Beshear was the keynote speaker for the memorial.

“While we mourn their loss, we salute their service, and their generous spirit in which they deliver that service,’ Gov. Beshear said. “We also salute their families who didn’t wear the uniform but served with them every day of their career.”

Governor Beshear said an officer who died just last week, Calloway County Chief Deputy Jody Cash, who was also a former state trooper sergeant, will be recognized during next year’s ceremony.

This year’s ceremony honored:

  • Louisville Metro Police Officer Hassan F. Hassan, end of watch April 2, 2021. Officer Hassan suffered a fatal medical event shortly after responding to a shooting call.
  • Breckinridge County Sheriff’s Deputy Wagner L. Baskett, Jr., end of watch May 24, 2021. Deputy Baskett died from complications of COVID-19 after contracting the illness in the line of duty.
  • Georgetown Police Lt. Gary W. Crump, II, end of watch June 30, 2021. Lt. Crump suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after an extensive and tense interrogation following a months-long investigation.
  • Jefferson County Deputy Sheriff Brandon A. Shirley, end of watch Aug. 5, 2021. Deputy Shirley was shot and killed when he was ambushed while working a secondary employment assignment.
  • Floyd County Sheriff’s Deputy Oliver Little, end of watch Oct. 31, 2021. Deputy Little died from complications of Covid-19 after contracting the illness in the line of duty.
  • Graves County Deputy Jailer Robert T. Daniel, end of watch Dec. 10, 2021. Deputy Daniel was serving in a law enforcement capacity overseeing prisoners on work release at a Mayfield candle factory when he was killed by a tornado.
  • Louisville Metro Police Officer Zachary D. Cottongim, end of watch Dec. 18, 2021. Officer Cottongim was struck and killed by an automobile as he attended to an abandoned vehicle on the side of I-64.

The five historical honorees added to the monument this year are:

  • Metcalfe County Deputy Sheriff Albert J. Franklin, end of watch Nov. 11, 1913.
  • Pikeville Police Officer Alonzo Robinson, end of watch May 16, 1929.
  • Harlan County Sheriff’s Deputy Isaac Pennington, end of watch April 16, 1933.
  • Floyd County Sheriff’s Deputy Marion Layne, end of watch Jan. 5, 1939.
  • Campbell County Police Chief George T. Benz, end of watch Sept. 20, 1948.

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