The Daviess County Courthouse Lawn housed a large crowd Friday for the unveiling of Owensboro-Daviess County’s first monument dedicated to police officers, sheriff’s deputies, firefighters and EMS agencies.
The event featured several speakers, many of them members of law enforcement, before the stone monument was uncovered.
“This is for those who give their lives for us in serving us daily, where we live,” said Rep. Brett Guthrie.
Judge-Executive Al Mattingly thanked all of the agencies whose emblems had been engraved onto the monument for assisting him in times of need.
“I can remember on several occasions where I’ve needed an ambulance, or the fire department, or the police department, and it always has given me comfort — particularly here in Owensboro-Daviess County — that we have such dedicated first responders,” he said. “To know that I will not be by myself, that they will be by my side, sharing with me whatever I’m going through.”
Ed Lingenfelter, an instructor at the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training for over 20 years, was Friday’s featured speaker. He is a recipient of the General Douglas MacArthur Award for Leadership; the Fraternal Order of Police Medal of Valor; and the Fayette County, KY Bar Association Police Officer of the Year.
On June 21, 1996, Lingenfelter was severely injured when was shot three times in the line of duty. His backup officer left him behind and fled to safety.
“I, alone, made it to the safety of a group of citizens,” he said. “I survived because of the support of a community who appreciated my public safety team. My survival that night is directly attributed to many people — the telecommunicators, the EMS, the paramedics, the peace officers that literally took my wounded body to the trauma center.”
The monument — erected to face Frederica Street on the west side of the courthouse — honors first responders who put others first every day.