Kentucky State Police honors fallen troopers
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Troopers from Kentucky State Police Post 4 honored those who died in the line of duty as part of National Police Officers Memorial Week, which runs May 15 through 21.
They went from cemetery to cemetery with wreaths for short graveside honors.
The parents of Trooper Joseph “Cameron” Ponder were greeted with hugs. His mother, father, and stepfather were all part of the service.
Brenda Tiffany remembers her son for his big heart and old soul.
She said he always loved helping others, which is why he served in the United States Navy before joining Kentucky State Police.
Ponder was only with KSP for nine months before he was shot and killed during a traffic stop in 2015.
He had the bible verse Philippians 4:14 tattooed on his wrist, and his mother wore a shirt with the verse on Wednesday while standing next to his grave which also has the verse inscribed.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me,” she recited. “Honestly, the only way I’ve been able to get through this journey is by leaning into my faith, and so it’s become a mantra for us and it’s part of what we identify with Cameron and we’re just trying to keep that memory alive.”
She wants her son to be remembered for his service, sacrifice, and his personality.
The following people were honored on Wednesday:
- Trooper Lee Trebu Huffman, age 27, was struck and killed by an automobile May 19, 1953, while working a vehicle accident in Hardin County. He was assigned to Post 4 Elizabethtown and had served with the Kentucky State Police for two years. He was survived by his wife and young son. Huffman is buried at Zachary Taylor Cemetery in Louisville, Ky. In honor of his service and sacrifice, KY 218 in Metcalfe County has been designated the “Trooper Lee T. Huffman Memorial Highway”.
- Trooper William F. Pickard, age 26, was fatally shot on January 21, 1976 while attempting to serve an arrest warrant in LaRue County. Pickard had accompanied two Hodgenville police officers to the home of the suspect, who had been charged with assault and wanton menacing. As Pickard approached the front door, the door flew open and a shotgun blast was fired, striking the trooper fatally. Pickard was assigned to Post 4 Elizabethtown and had served with the Kentucky State Police for four years. He was survived by his wife and 13-month-old son. Pickard is buried at Red Hill Cemetery in Hodgenville, Ky. In honor of his service and sacrifice, a five-mile stretch of KY 61 in LaRue County has been designated the “Trooper William F. Pickard Memorial Highway”.
- Lt. Willis D. Martin, age 44, died April 26, 1977, in a vehicle accident in Hardin County. He was assigned to Post 4 Elizabethtown and was a 20-year veteran of the Kentucky State Police. He is buried at Hardin Memorial Gardens in Elizabethtown, Ky. In honor of his service and sacrifice, a six-mile stretch of KY 251 in Hardin County has been designated the “Lt. Willis Martin Memorial Highway”.
- Trooper Edward R. Harris, age 29, was fatally shot Nov. 7, 1979, during the course of a traffic violation stop. According to a witness, Harris was struck first by a shot fired from inside the suspect’s vehicle and again as he lay in the road. Harris was assigned to Post 4 Elizabethtown and had served with the Kentucky State Police for six-and-a-half years. He was survived by his wife and three young children. He is buried at Red Hill Cemetery in Hodgenville, Ky. In honor of his service and sacrifice, KY 3005 in Hardin County has been designated the “Trooper Edward Harris Memorial Highway”.
- Sergeant David R. Gibbs, age 42, was traveling westbound on KY 210 near the Green & LaRue County line when he entered a rain soaked sharp curve. His marked KSP vehicle traveled into the oncoming lane where it was struck by another vehicle. Gibbs was pronounced deceased at the scene August 7, 2015. He was in route to provide an official escort to a funeral procession. Gibbs was assigned to Post 15 Columbia and had served the Kentucky State Police for over 17 years. He was survived by his parents and a son. Gibbs is buried in the Rineyville Memorial Cemetery in Hardin County.
- Trooper Joseph ‘Cameron’ Ponder, age 31, was fatally shot on September 13, 2015 while conducting a routine traffic stop on Interstate 24 in Lyon County. Upon receiving his commission as a Trooper, he was assigned to Post 1, Mayfield, where his death came only nine months into his career. Ponder is buried at Kentucky Veteran’s Cemetery in Ft. Knox, Ky. Interstate 24 in Lyon County, from the Caldwell County line to its intersection with Kentucky Route 293, is designated as the Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder Memorial Highway.
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