(BLOOMINGTON) - The Indiana State Police Bloomington Post held its annual memorial service to remember those ISP employees who have given their lives in the line of duty.
Troopers were brought to attention and the Indiana State Police Honor Guard presented the colors. Roll call of the fallen was read by District Commander, Lieutenant Paul Bucher and the District First Sergeant, Dennis Kirkman. After the service, troopers and other attendees enjoyed a luncheon provided by the Indiana State Police Alliance and fellowship at the post.
Guests at the service included the family of fallen Indiana State Trooper Robert C. Gillespie who was killed in the line of duty in June 8th, 1962, as well as 9 Indiana State Police retirees. Also in attendance was Doug Carter, Superintendent of the Indiana State Police.
The Gillespie Family presented Lt. Bucher with a large framed poster that included a collage of pictures and documents documenting Trooper Gillespie's illustrious and heroic career.
A total of 46 Indiana State Police employees have lost their lives in the line of duty since the Department was formed in 1933. Trooper Gillespie worked Lawrence County at the time of his death which was in the former Seymour District.
Trooper Robert Gillespie was killed in a traffic accident while rushing to a call for assistance near Mitchell.
While traveling with his emergency lights on, Trooper Gillespie was forced to leave the road when a pickup truck slowed in front of him. Leaving the highway to avoid the truck, Trooper Gillespie swerved back on the highway to avoid another car in his path. A third car then struck his vehicle.
Trooper Gillespie had served with the Indiana State Police for nearly 12 years and was assigned to the Seymour post. He was a US Navy veteran serving in the Shore Patrol. Trooper Gillespie was survived by his wife and six children. In 1959, he was awarded the agency's Gold Star Award for Valor when, in spite of gunshot wounds, he continued to pursue a couple who had fired at him.
Since the early days of the Indiana State Police, memorial services have been held each May at all Indiana State Police districts to perpetuate the memory of those who have died in the line of duty. The service serves as a means of paying tribute to those who died in the line of duty, that their sacrifice was not made in vain, and as a reminder to those of us left behind that we should strive to maintain the level of professional service to the public our departed comrades so unselfishly gave their lives for.
For a complete listing of Indiana Troopers killed in the line of duty and a summary of their deaths, visit the Indiana State Police website at www.in.gov/isp and click on the "In Memoriam" link on the left side of the page.
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