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Linton Officer Fred Cromwell Added To National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial
Updated May 25, 2016 6:18 AM
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(LINTON) - More than 100 years after a Linton Police Officer's End of Watch, his name was added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Sabrina Westfall, of the Greene County Daily World reports, Linton Police Officer Fred Cromwell's name was added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. LPD Chief Troy Jerrell and Officer Paul Clark attended the ceremony last Saturday in which Cromwell's name was read.

Police Chief Troy Jerrell and Officer Paul Clark attended the unveiling and reading of names added to the memorial last weekend -- hosted in honor of National Police Week -- to represent the Linton Police Department and Linton Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). The memorial lists the names of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.

Officer Fred Cromwell's End of Watch was Sunday, Feb. 7, 1915. He was 32. The Officer Down Memorial Page (www.odmp.org) states less than a week into Cromwell's time serving on the department, he surprised a burglar in a clothing store. It was reported the officer was shot twice when he opened the door to the store, and was killed instantly.

Jerrell said the department was unaware of Cromwell's sacrifice to his community due to poor record keeping in the early 1900s. A few years ago, the department learned about Cromwell, and Clark dedicated his time to finding out more about Cromwell's life and death.

"There wasn't good record keeping until the 70s or 80s. The older records were old newspaper clippings and old books. The only way to find the information was to go page by page. That is probably why his death went to the wayside," Jerrell said, noting there has been a lot of turnover in that time period as well.

Officer Clark, who is also an active member of the Linton Fraternal Order of Police, dedicated a lot of time -- of his own time -- to gather adequate information to ensure Cromwell was properly memorialized for paying the ultimate sacrifice while trying to protect the residents of Linton.

"Officer Clark had to provide his findings and information, and I had to confirm it," Jerrell said. "Paul took a lot of time and effort, and volunteered to do all the work."

Based on old newspaper clippings, the department believes Cromwell was a "merchant police officer." The merchant officers were paid by the area businesses to keep an eye on the stores.

Last year, the department honored Officer Cromwell at Linton City Hall, with city officials and the extended family of Cromwell in attendance. It was reported last May that a city street will be named after Cromwell as well.

Jerrell said Cromwell deserved to be recognized at the national level as well.

"Even though his End of Watch was in 1915, this was the first somewhat modern recognition with other fallen officers in the nation," Jerrell said of the memorial ceremony in D.C.

"It's important because you owe a duty to those who served the community and gave the ultimate sacrifice, and you owe it to the families that still live in and around the area ... That sacrifice has not been forgotten. Our current police officers need to know if called upon, they will not be forgotten."

Jerrell said while local support for police is strong, the national spotlight often times paints police in a negative light. Events like the memorial ceremony serve as a reminder that officers throughout the nation give their all to protect their communities.

Jerrell described the Friday night candlelight vigil and Saturday ceremony as both humbling and emotional. The 300-foot long wall features more than 20,000 names of officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. The chief said it was much larger than he expected.

"After a war, I would expect a lot of names on a wall. There are hundreds of people (fighting). But, with a police department there are maybe three, four or maybe five at time. There are smaller numbers in a conflict. So, to see so many names is overwhelming," Jerrell said.

Jerrell said he was very appreciative of the opportunity to attend the event. He and Clark made the drive to Washington, D.C. and back, and kept the trip low-budget.

"We are very fortunate we were able to go, and we are appreciative of that fact," Jerrell said.



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