KSP honors troopers killed in the line of duty with annual wreath ceremony

Each officer received a wreath and a brief service from active patrolmen.
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 7:28 PM EDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -Kentucky State Police held their annual wreath ceremony, honoring troopers and highway patrolmen that were killed in the line of duty.

Beginning at Fairview Cemetery in Bowling Green, troopers later traveled to Franklin, Adairville, Morgantown, and Cave City to pay their respects. They plan to travel to another gravesite in Tennessee next week.

KSP Public Affairs Officer Daniel Priddy said that the annual tradition ensures that the memory of the fallen officers lives on and provides closure to families that have made the ultimate sacrifice in losing their loved ones.

“These families have sacrificed and we want to make sure that they realize that these names will always be remembered and that their acts and the individuals will always be with us as we try to do our best to serve and protect the citizens of the Commonwealth,” said Priddy.

Fallen officers observed during today’s services were Lt. William Smith, Patrolman Robert Rowland, Trooper Walter Thurtell, Detective Darrell V. Phelps, and Patrolman James P. Hays.

Tommy Smith, son of Lt. Smith and retired state trooper, was joined by Lt. Smith’s nephew, Todd Moore, at the wreath ceremony.

“There’s always been at least one member of my family, and I don’t think I’ve ever missed one, because it’s important to us to show that we want to thank the state police for coming out and showing their respect to my father for his life that he gave,” said Smith said.

Each officer received a wreath at their gravesite and a brief service from active patrolmen.