May 19, 2016
The names of all 119 Kansas City Missouri Police Department officers killed in the line of duty throughout history were read aloud on the morning of Thursday, May 19, as the KCPD shut off a city block outside of its downtown Police Headquarters to hold a Memorial Service for the fallen.
Police officers, families of the deceased, and well-wishers congregated on Locust Street between the blocks of 11th St. and 12th St. for the ceremony. The KCPD Color Guard, formation of an honor guard, bagpipers, and a riderless horse representing the fallen officers opened the service. Chief of Police Darryl Forte followed with some brief words.
“A total of 119 Kansas City, Missouri police officers have not gone home to their families in department history,” said Forte. “One of them was officer Phil Miller. Officer Miller was shot to death in December of 1983; he was just 27 years old, and had only been on the department for five years. His killer was sentenced to life in prison, but he is coming up for parole in July.”
Forte then introduced Laura Miller-Harmon, the widow of Officer Phillip Miller. She urged attendees to sign a petition aimed to keep her husband’s killer behind bars, and thanked KCPD officers for risking their lives for the citizens of Kansas City.
“I just want to say that your lives do matter, and always will. They matter because you are husbands, wives, sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, friends, and most of all, family.” said Miller-Harmon. “You do matter, because without you, the world would be a real mess.”
The ceremony ended with Officer Kathleen Alber, who recited the names of all 119 officers killed in the line of duty, from 1881 to 2001. When she was finished, a 21-gun salute and a flyover from a police helicopter concluded the ceremony.