Memorial service honors fallen officers

May 13 2011 - 11:12pm

Images

(NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner) Honor guard officers salute while “Taps” is played Friday during the annual fallen officers memorial service at the Davis County Sheriff’s Office in Farmington. Flags across Utah and the nation will fly at half staff Sunday in honor of fallen law enforcement officers following an executive order from President Barack Obama.
(NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner) Davis High School student Kelsey Hoffman plays “Taps” during the annual fallen officers memorial service Friday at the Davis County Sheriff’s Office in Farmington.
(NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner) Officers observe a moment of silence during the annual fallen officers memorial service at the Davis County Sheriff’s Office in Farmington on Friday.
(NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner) Honor guard officers salute while “Taps” is played Friday during the annual fallen officers memorial service at the Davis County Sheriff’s Office in Farmington. Flags across Utah and the nation will fly at half staff Sunday in honor of fallen law enforcement officers following an executive order from President Barack Obama.
(NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner) Davis High School student Kelsey Hoffman plays “Taps” during the annual fallen officers memorial service Friday at the Davis County Sheriff’s Office in Farmington.
(NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner) Officers observe a moment of silence during the annual fallen officers memorial service at the Davis County Sheriff’s Office in Farmington on Friday.

FARMINGTON -- Flags across the state will fly at half staff Sunday to honor fallen law enforcement officers as part of National Police Week.

Gov. Gary Herbert ordered that the U.S. and state flags be lowered following an executive order from President Barack Obama.

On Friday, Davis County law enforcement officers and family members of fallen officers attended a memorial service that included a 21-gun salute and music in front of the Davis County Sheriff's Office.

One of those in attendance was Olive Lenox, 81, of Farmington. She is the widow of Davis County Sheriff's Deputy Donald Perry Jensen, who was shot to death May 14, 1971.

"He was murdered," Lenox said.

Lenox was 41 at the time of her husband's death; their three children were 19, 11 and 9.

Jensen believed he was helping two stranded motorists. Instead, the motorists turned out to be robbery suspects from Ogden.

They shot Jensen five times with a .38-caliber handgun and then with a .22 magnum pistol. The two were captured in Wyoming, served prison time and were released on parole, according to a website honoring Jensen.

His name is engraved on the memorial at the base of the flagpole at the Davis County Sheriff's Office in Farmington.

Three others are alongside: Utah Highway Patrol Trooper George Dee Rees, who died July 2, 1970; UHP Lt. Thomas Sumner Retberg, who died Feb. 11, 2000; and North Salt Lake Officer Charles Benjamin Skinner, who died Nov. 8, 2008.

Skinner's father-in-law, Bountiful Police Sgt. Gary Koehn, said Skinner was only 30 and had been a police officer for six months when he died after crashing his car during a high-speed chase.

Koehn's daughter, Kaitlyn Skinner, left Thursday to honor her husband at the national memorial service in Washington, D.C.

"I like the fact (Skinner) is remembered every year," Koehn said.

He said it's been hard the past three years.

"I think about (the accident) all the time," Koehn said. "Something will remind me about the events of that day or night."

He said he is now more aware when other police officers across the state die and that he has attended every funeral. The death of officers and the support other officers give to loved ones "has hit a little bit closer to home," Koehn said.

Bountiful Police Cpl. Dave Edwards, president of the Davis County Fraternal Order of Police, spoke at the service.

He challenged area residents to "reach out and serve the community" and also challenged police officers to "serve with passion and with the warrior spirit."

Davis County Sheriff Todd Richardson said law enforcement officers make the commitment to serve the community to make it better.

"Times are not getting better, but harder for our officers and our families."

From Around the Web

  +