FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Police week takes on added meaning for the members of Kentucky State Police Post 12. The post has lost six troopers in the line of duty since its inception, and they make sure to remember them all on an annual basis.
“This is something we look forward to every year, to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to serve the citizens of the Commonwealth,” said Trooper Josh Satterly before Thursday’s first ceremony.
Most of the ceremonies included a few kind words from former co-workers and family members of the deceased, followed by a wreath laying by the grave. One trooper, James McNeely, is honored at the KSP post, because his body was never recovered. He was thrown from a boat while helping search for missing canoeists. The canoeists made it home safely. Often times, these officers do not.
“Officers have come to accept we have a dangerous job. It’s our families that have to come to grips with it,” said Trooper John Hawkins.
And it’s the family members who have to come to grips when there is a fatality. 22 years ago, Officer Jason Cammack from the Vehicle Enforcement Division lost his life on I-64 in Midway while attempting to chase down a speeding driver.
“Time does not heal all. It stay with you every day,” said Cammack’s mother, Kela. Mrs. Cammack said this is always a hard day, but she’s glad for it because it means her son hasn’t been forgotten.
Trooper Hawkins knew Cammack well.
He was a guy you wanted to work with,” Hawkins said, before sharing the story of being one of the first to the scene of Cammack’s accident.
“That’s a memory that you cannot leave. It won’t ever leave your mind,” he said.
Jason Cammack won’t ever leave his mother’s mind either.
“I expect him to come through the door any time. You don’t understand that until it happens to you, and I have him on my mind all the time,” she said.
The five others who were honored on Thursday include; the aforementioned Trooper McNeely, Officer David Childs, Trooper Harold Toll, Trooper Bobby McCoun and Trooper Eric Chrisman.