Memorials honor fallen police officers

Memorials honor fallen police officers

Two services Thursday in Champaign and Urbana honored fallen police officers: one at West Side Park in Champaign, followed by another at the Champaign County Courthouse around 12:15 p.m. Another service was held in Danville, at Sunset Memorial Park.

The services fell during National Police Week, which is May 13-19, and May 15 was National Peace Officers Memorial Day.

Keynote speaker at both Champaign County ceremonies was retired Champaign County Judge J.G. Townsend, who spoke of police officers' willingness to serve and sacrifice for the safety of the communities they served.

Champaign's ceremony honored the city's two officers killed in the line of duty: Robert Tatman, shot in 1967, and Thomas Dodsworth, shot in 1913.

The county ceremony honored Officers Tatman and Dodsworth, along with Sgt. Rodney T. Miller of the Illinois State Police, who died in an auto accident in 2006; Dutch, a Rantoul Police Department dog who fell to his death in 2001; Champaign County sheriff's Deputy Glen B. Hewerdine, killed in an auto accident in 1962; and FBI Special Agent William Ramsey, who was shot near Penfield in 1938.

Sheriff Dan Walsh also included in the remembrance Illinois State Police Special Agent Virgil Lee Bensyl, shot in 1988, and Douglas County Chief Deputy Tommy Martin, who died in 2007 after being shot in the line of duty.

Here is audio from the Champaign ceremony.

And here is audio from the Urbana ceremony.