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FAIRBANKS - The father of a fallen police officer was the keynote speaker at a new memorial honoring Interior law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
"No other job in America is so complex as that of a police officer," said Lynn Lamm, chief of police in Florence, Ore. "There is no other profession that has such power and authority and extreme responsibility of a police officer."
Lamm's son, Kevin Lamm, became an officer for the Fairbanks Police Department. He was killed Jan. 1, 1998, after entering a home to settle a domestic dispute between a woman and her longtime boyfriend, Joe Lee DeWolfe. DeWolfe shot and killed Lamm and wounded another officer before turning a gun on himself. Lamm, 26, was survived by his wife and two children.
Lamm's death almost seven years ago inspired the new memorial outside the Fairbanks Police Department.
Lynn Lamm, 60, has been in police work for 31 years. He said being a police officer presents stressful situations daily, from staring down a drug-crazed addict to telling an elderly person his spouse of 50 years has just died.
"Police officers work in situations most people never experience," Lamm said.
The memorial is a polished, 3,600-pound jade block with a bronze plaque inscribed with a poem, "We Remember the Officers."
The poem is surrounded by badges from the seven local law enforcement agencies - Army and Air Force, Fairbanks International Airport, Alaska State Troopers, Fairbanks police, University of Alaska Fairbanks police and North Pole police.
The names of the five fallen officers and the dates of their deaths are featured on raised bronze plates on a wall behind the jade block.
"I hope and pray we don't have to put one more name on it," said Paul Harris, director of the Fairbanks Police Department. "If we're fortunate, we won't have to ever change it."
Along with Kevin Lamm, the officers honored were:
Alaska State Trooper Troy Lynn Duncan, shot and killed by Michael Silka on May 19, 1984, as he and other troopers searched by helicopter for Silka near Manley Hot Springs. Silka, a drifter, had killed eight people.
Alaska State Trooper Roland Edgar "Skip" Chevalier Jr. was shot and killed by his brother-in-law April 4, 1982, after intervening in a domestic dispute between his father-in-law and brother-in-law.
Military policeman Roy Lee Hursey, died Feb. 27, 1963, when a refueling plane at Eielson Air Force Base was unable to take off and crashed into his guard shack;
Fairbanks Chief of Police Alvin Miller, was shot and killed Nov. 2, 1908, when he and another officer tried to break into the room of a mentally disturbed woman who refused to leave her hotel room.