Juneau police to honor fallen officers

Annual Police Officers Memorial Ceremony held today at noon

Posted: Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Juneau Police Department will honor four officers killed in the line of duty over the course of the department's history during a ceremony today.

The annual Police Officers Memorial Ceremony begins at noon on the lawn of the Alaska State Museum.

"The week containing May 15 every year is called National Police Week and it's a week to honor police officers," spokeswoman Cindee Brown-Mills said.

The ceremony is scheduled to begin with opening statements by Chief Greg Browning, and a keynote address will be given by newly appointed Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau.

Brown-Mills said President Kennedy established National Police Week in 1962 to honor all law enforcement agencies. She said it is an important annual event for the department's 52 sworn police officers.

Today's ceremony will honor the four officers killed in the line of duty as well as the officers that continue to work for the department, Brown-Mills said.

The first Juneau police officer to die in the line of duty was Chief of Detectives Donald Dull, who died at the age of 28 on Oct. 19, 1964, after being accidentally shot in the head by a fellow officer. Born on Aug. 9, 1936, Dull was a lifelong Juneau resident that joined JPD in 1959 at the age of 23. After graduating with honors with a degree in criminology, Dull returned to the department in 1963. He was buried at the Evergreen Cemetery.

One of the darkest days in JPD's history was on April 17, 1979, when two officers were killed in the line of duty. Richard J. Adair, 51, and Jimmy E. Kennedy, 32, were shot and killed when they responded to a home where a mentally ill subject had barricaded himself inside. The subject took his own life shortly thereafter. Adair and Kennedy were the second and third officers in Juneau killed in the line of duty.

Adair had worked as a draftsman for the city of Juneau prior to joining JPD in May of 1969. He was a 10-year veteran at the time of his death. Kennedy served four years in the U.S. Navy after graduating from high school in Mississippi in 1964, spending part of that time in Vietnam. He came to Juneau with a band and was hired by JPD in 1977, just days before his engagement was scheduled to end. He served in the department for 18 months prior to his death.

The most recent JPD officer to die in the line of duty was Karl Reishus, 29, who was fatally injured on May 3, 1992, while attempting to help two firefighters during an accident at the Hagevis Fire Training facility. He died the following day.

Reishus, who was born and raised in Fairbanks, graduated from the Public Safety Academy in Sitka in 1986 and served with the Sitka Police Department as an officer and detective for three years. He joined JPD in April of 1990.

The JPD Honor Guard will present the colors at today's ceremony in honor of the officers. The ceremony is open to the public.

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