GARY, W.Va. – The second annual Gary Police Memorial Service has been set for May 15 2021 at 2:00 P. M. at the Gary Police Officer’s Memorial beside City Hall in Gary.
There will be a procession through town of Emergency Vehicles just prior to the service. Then a reef will be placed under the wooden police memorial flag to honor the fallen.
The Police Memorial Flag shows a thin blue line for one of the stripes on an American flag and part of the Gary Police Officer’s Memorial is a large wooden version of the flag. On that wooden flag will be placed the names of police Officers killed while on duty in McDowell County.
This year the names of McDowell County Deputy Sheriff George Maynard and Bradshaw Police Chief Chloe Francis Stanton both of whom were shot and killed by prisoners in custody in separate incidents.
The names of other officers will be added when their information is confirmed. Those knowing names of fallen McDowell County Officers can contact Gary Police Chief S. P. “Pat” McKInney at 304-448-2209 and those names will be added.
Virgil Green, local minister and former Deputy Sheriff will give a brief presentation and a prayer followed by a few words from Chief McKinney and Gary Mayor Larry Hairston. Other officers in attendance will be given a chance for remarks.
Starting Wednesday, May 14, well wishers may send flowers or bring them to be placed at the memorial to show their support of law enforcement as well as signs and posters of support from area groups and school children. These will remain in place until Monday, May 17.
According to McKinney, students at Welch Elementary alongside Principal Dr. East and Kimball Elementary are creating posters for the memorial.
The Gary Police Officers Memorial is the only permanent free standing memorial to police officers in Southern West Virginia. Future plans include a cabinet for the wooden flag that will be illuminated at night showing the names of the fallen and a statue. The memorial honors those who fell on duty and shows their families their sacrifices are not forgotten.
“We hope for a good turn out from Law Enforcement agencies and the public,” said Chief McKinney, “Everyday I see where an officer was killed leaving a family behind. A show of support like this is encouraging to those who serve.”