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Indiana State Police Fort Wayne post holds annual memorial service to honor fallen

Photo supplied/Indiana State Police

(Fort Wayne, IN) (Indiana State Police) – This morning, the Indiana State Police Fort Wayne Post held their 2023 Annual Memorial Service, paying tribute to the forty-eight Indiana State Police employees that have died in the line of duty since 1933.

Since the early days of the Indiana State Police, memorial services have been held at all Indiana State Police Posts during the month of May. The memorial services are a way of paying tribute and remembering the ultimate sacrifice(s) made by state police employees who have died while serving and protecting the citizens and visitors of Indiana. These services are also for the family members of these fallen heroes, reaffirming our commitment that their sacrifice as well as the sacrifice of their departed loved ones will never be forgotten.

Today’s outdoor service started with the troop formation called to attention and ISP Chaplain Daniel Coffey opening with a word of prayer.  Captain Kevin Smith, Area II Commander for the Indiana State Police, began a roll call of the fallen employees. Lieutenant Corey Culler, District Commander of the Fort Wayne Post, followed each name with a brief description of what lead to the fallen employees’ final call. The ceremony ended with the playing of Taps by our guest bugler, Jon Zwick from Decatur, IN.

Since the agency’s inception in 1933, there have been six ISP troopers that have died in the line of duty here in the Fort Wayne Post (current) eleven county region:

  • Trooper Richard F. England, Columbia City, IN (Ligonier Post) died April 22, 1942, near Kimmel from injuries sustained during an automobile crash.
  • Trooper Donald R. Turner, Auburn, IN, (Ligonier Post) died January 28, 1956, near Auburn, from injuries after he was struck by a passing vehicle while assisting a wrecker operator.
  • Trooper Robert J. Garrison, Montpelier, IN, (Redkey Post) died December 14, 1959, near Daleville, from injuries sustained in an automobile crash.
  • Master Trooper David A. Deuter, Angola, IN (Toll Road Post) died July 16, 1998, in LaGrange County after being struck by a semi-tractor trailer while conducting a traffic stop along the Indiana Toll Road.
  • Trooper Cory R. Elson, Fort Wayne, IN (Fort Wayne Post) died April 3, 1999, in Decatur, when a driver opened fired on him with an automatic rifle during a traffic stop on US27.
  • Master Trooper James. R. Bailey, Auburn, IN (Fort Wayne Post) died March 3, 2023 in DeKalb County, from injuries sustained when he was struck by a vehicle resisting law enforcement on Interstate 69.

In addition to the traditional memorial service ceremony, in honor of fallen Master Trooper James Bailey, there was a special presentation given by Lt. Culler to address the Bailey family and what his service meant to the men and women of the Fort Wayne Post.  Master Trooper Bailey’s name was etched on the Post’s memorial stone, and his bust plate was added to the memorial board displayed in the Post lobby,

The command staff at the Fort Wayne Post would like to thank all of our guests in attendance today, especially the family members of our fallen, our ISP retirees, fellow uniformed officers from the Fort Wayne Police Department, Allen County Police Department, Noble County Sheriff’s Department, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Indiana Department of Transportation employees, and all others that were able to join us today.

We will always remember, forever honor, and respect those that serve in their memory!

For a complete listing of Indiana State Police employees who died in the line of duty, visit the Indiana State Police website at www.in.gov/isp/about-isp/in-memoriam/.

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