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Government

Memorial Dedicated For Fallen Wyandotte County Sheriff's Deputies

William Conway. Charles Luken. Frank Rohrback. Maurice Bedell. Wesley Walden. Thomas Medina. James Reynolds.

“Those are the men, the deputies, who are carved in this monument,” Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 40 President David Toland said Wednesday at the dedication ceremony for a memorial honoring fallen Wyandotte County sheriff deputies. “I hope these are the last.”

An emotional Rick Whitby, president emeritus of FOP Lodge 40, shared personal stories about two of the fallen deputies.

Whitby said he was the last to talk to Reynolds before he died in 1984.

And Whitby’s grandfather was Bedell’s partner at the time of his death in 1954.

“My grandfather was with him that night,” Whitby said. “The prisoner - before cages, before rules about handcuffing behind your back - the prisoner came over the seat, got my grandfather’s gun and shot Maurice.”

The dedication, scheduled for last month, was pushed back after the death of Kansas City, Kansas, Det. Brad Lancaster in the line of duty on May 9.

“I can say twice, the two most difficult days in my time as mayor have been times when I have been called and told that we’ve had an officer was shot,” said Mayor Mark Holland. “We all know we were just gathered together just a few weeks ago to celebrate Det. Lancaster’s commitment to our community and his life.”

The Wyandotte County monument is outside the Sheriff’s Office. Lancaster’s name will go on the police memorial on the other side of 7th Street.

Proceeds from a barbecue lunch served after the dedication ceremony will go into a college fund for Lancaster’s daughters.

The other deputy shot during Holland’s time in office, Scott Wood, survived his injuries. Wood attended the dedication with his wife.

Elle Moxley is a reporter for KCUR. You can reach her on Twitter @ellemoxley.

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