MAYFIELD, Ky. (May 15, 2017) –Kentucky State Police Post 1 held memorial services at two locations in Graves County as part of National Police Officer Memorial Day. National Police Officer Memorial Day was designated by President John F. Kennedy in 1962 to be observed annually on May 15th. As part of this day of remembrance, KSP Post 1 Troopers and civilian staff gathered to place wreaths at the memorial outside of KSP Post 1 in Graves County.
The memorial contains the names of the two Troopers who died in the line of duty in the Post 1 area.
Trooper Eric K. Chrisman, age 23, was fatally injured on June 23, 2015 in a vehicle collision while en route to a reckless driving complaint on US 62 in Livingston County. Upon receiving his commission as a Trooper, he was assigned to Post 1, Mayfield, where his death came only six months into his career. Trooper Chrisman is buried in Sand Spring Baptist Cemetery in Anderson County. In honor of his service and sacrifice, KY 326 in Anderson County has been designated the “Trooper Eric K. Chrisman Memorial Highway”.
Trooper Joseph ‘Cameron’ Ponder, age31, was fatally shot on September 13, 2015 while conducting a 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. Trooper Ponder is buried at Kentucky Veteran’s Cemetery in Ft. Knox, KY. In honor of his service and sacrifice, 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”.
KSP Post 1 Troopers then traveled to Mayfield Memory Gardens to place a wreath at the gravesite of Trooper James W. McNeely.
Trooper James W. McNeely, age 37, drowned April 8, 1972 while on a flood rescue mission in Franklin County. His death came one day after his sixteenth anniversary of joining the Kentucky State Police. Trooper McNeely and KSP Water Patrol Officer David C. Childs died when the boat in which they were riding was swept over the dam at Lock 4 in Frankfort. Trooper McNeely’s body was never found. The two canoeists for whom the officers were searching were later found safe. Trooper McNeely was assigned to Post 12 Frankfort. Trooper McNeely was survived by his wife and three children. His memorial in in Wingo, KY. In honor of his service and sacrifice, a five mile stretch of KY 339 in Graves County has been designated the “Trooper James W. McNeely Memorial Highway”.
The week of May 14-20, 2017 has been declared National Police Week by President Donald J. Trump. During this, several services and other activities are held in Washington, D.C. KSP Post 1 has Troopers attending those services in Washington, D.C. throughout this week of remembrance.