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Fallen Law Enforcement Remembered During Ceremony at State Capitol

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.-- Two Missouri law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2013 and two who died in the line of duty over the past years were memorialized today at a solemn ceremony at the Law Enforcement Memorial, on the grounds of the State Capitol.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.-- Two Missouri law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2013 and two who died in the line of duty over the past years were memorialized today at a solemn ceremony at the Law Enforcement Memorial, on the grounds of the State Capitol.

The names of Chesterfield Police Department Detective Christopher C. Simpson and Police Officer Joseph C. Smith, who both died in 2013, were added to the memorial wall overlooking the Missouri River during the 27th annual Missouri Law Enforcement Memorial Service.

The names of two other officers who died in the past were also added to the wall: Iberia Police Department Officer Vernon O. Winn and Missouri Pacific Railroad Police Department Watchman Edward Bell.

“Those who devote their lives to law enforcement are charged with a simple yet solemn oath: ‘to preserve and defend the peace of our communities, and the lives of our citizens,’” Attorney General Chris Koster said. “There is no greater responsibility on this earth. And what greater proof of commitment to that oath could we ask than the sacrifices of the men we honor here today.”

“Missouri’s law enforcement officers commit their lives to serving and protecting this state’s communities and each day risk their own lives so that all of us may be safer,” Department of Public Safety Director Jerry Lee said. “We remember our brave brothers and sisters who paid the ultimate price and continue to stand with their loved ones who will always be part of our extended law enforcement family.”

Families of the fallen and law enforcement agencies from across Missouri participated in the event by placing wreaths at the memorial wall.

On May 2, a candlelight vigil in honor of all Missouri law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty was held at the memorial.

According to a press release by the Missouri Department of Public Safety, the following law enforcement officer’s names were added to the memorial wall this year:

Christopher C. Simpson
End of Watch: Feb. 12, 2013
Rank: Detective
Department: Chesterfield Police Department
Cause: Heart attack
Age: 56
Years of Service: 35

On Feb 12, Detective Simpson died following a heart attack at the Chesterfield Police Fitness Center. He was a 35-year veteran of law enforcement, including 25 years with Chesterfield Police.

Joseph C. Smith
End of Watch: March 13, 2013
Rank: Police Officer
Department: Chesterfield Police Department
Cause: Heart attack
Age: 50
Years of Service: 31

On March 13, 2013, Officer Smith suffered a heart attack and died at his home shortly after completing his shift with Chesterfield Police. He was a 31-year veteran of law enforcement, including 17 years with Chesterfield Police.

Vernon O. Winn
End of Watch: April 24, 2011
Rank: Feb.12, 1997
Department: Iberia Police Department
Cause: Heart attack
Age: 73
Years of Service: 6

On Feb.12, 1997, Officer Winn died of a heart attack while transporting a suspect to jail as a member of the Iberia Police Department. He had just been involved in an altercation while making a driving while intoxicated arrest. He was a nine-year veteran of law enforcement, including almost 8 years with Iberia Police.

Edward Bell
End of Watch: Feb. 11, 1919
Rank: Watchman
Department: Missouri Pacific Railroad Police Department
Cause: Gunshot wound
Age: 44
Years of Service: 10

On Feb. 11, 1919, Watchman Edward Bell was ambushed and shot in the abdomen as he patrolled the Missouri Pacific Railroad Bridge in Kansas City. Watchman Bell was transported to a hospital where he died two days later. He was a 10 year veteran with Missouri Pacific Railroad Police.


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