BOWLING GREEN (WBKO) -- On October 1, 1962, U. S. President John F. Kennedy signed into public law a joint resolution of the 87th Congress designating May 15 as Police Officer's Memorial Day in honor of federal, state, and municipal peace officers who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty. Each year, the calendar week in which May 15 falls is called "Police Week." The 2014 National Peace Officer's Memorial Week has been designated May 11-17, 2014
During this week fallen officers from across the country will be honored in both public and private ways. As a part of the Kentucky State Police's annual observance of this somber time, wreaths will be place on the graves of the 25 fallen officers who died in the line of duty while serving this great Commonwealth.
Four of these 25 brave men are from the Bowling Green Post 3 area. Three of which are buried in the Post 3 district and the fourth is buried in Tennessee.
Lieutenant William C. Smith, age 45 was shot on November 10, 1972, while attempting to arrest a murder suspect in Warren County. Lt. Smith succumbed to his injuries on April 26, 1973. Lt. Smith was assigned to Post 3 Bowling Green and was a 24-year veteran of the Kentucky State Police. In honor of his service and sacrifice, a portion of US 31 W in Warren County has been designated the Lt. William C. Smith Memorial Highway.
Post 3 personnel placed a wreath at the grave of Lieutenant William Smith at 8:30 this morning, in Warren County, at the Fairview Cemetery in Bowling Green, Kentucky
Trooper Darrell V. Phelps, age 34, was fatally shot August 7, 1981 while investigating illegal cultivation of marijuana in Edmonson County, Kentucky. Trooper Phelps was assigned to Post 3 as a detective. Trooper Phelps was an 11-year veteran of the Kentucky State Police. In honor of his service and sacrifice an eight-mile stretch of KY 1153 in Butler County has been designated the Det. Darrell V. Phelps Memorial Highway.
Post 3 personnel will place a wreath at the grave of Trooper Darrell V. Phelps at 9:45 this morning, in Butler County, at the Union Cemetery in Quality, Kentucky.
Trooper Walter O. Thurtell, age 42, died September 29, 1972 from injuries sustained in a vehicle accident while en route to a call for assistance in Logan County. Trooper Thurtell was assigned to Post 3 Bowing Green and was a 15-year veteran of the Kentucky State Police. In honor of this service and sacrifice, a 14-mile stretch of KY 431 in Logan County has been designated the Trooper Walter O. Thurtell Memorial Highway.
Post 3 personnel will place a wreath at the grave of Trooper Walter O Thurtell at 11:00 o'clock this morning, in Logan County, at the Greenwood Cemetery in Adairville, Kentucky.
Trooper William H. Barrett, age 35, died December 19, 1971, when he was ambushed and shot in Warren County. Trooper Barrett was assigned to Post 3 Bowling Green and had served with the Kentucky State Police for four years. In honor of his service and sacrifice, a five mile stretch of US 68/80 in Warren County has been designated the Trooper William H. Barrett Memorial Highway.
Post 3 personnel will place a wreath at the grave of Trooper William Barrett at 2:00 o'clock this afternoon, at the Riverside Cemetery in Woodbury, Tennessee.