Ceremony to Honor Fallen Paducah Police Officers

Date of release:  May 11, 2018

The Paducah Police Department would like to invite you to attend brief ceremonies and the placement of American flags on the graves of four Paducah officers who have died in the line of duty since the establishment of the department.

Additionally this year, we will be dedicating footstones that the department, with assistance from Jerry Beyer and Wilbert Vault Co., has placed at the gravesites.

The ceremonies will begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 16, at Mount Kenton Cemetery.

The Department’s Honor Guard members, led by Detective Matt Scheer on this project, partnered with Jerry Beyer representing Wilbert Vault Company to have the stones made for each fallen officer.  Each stone includes the Paducah Police Department’s emblem.  In January, the Department issued a news release seeking the public’s help in locating any surviving relatives of the four officers who died in the line of duty.

  • Officer Cal Smith was ambushed and shot to death on October 3, 1893. His killer had been arrested earlier for being drunk and disruptive, and after being released on bond, he obtained a rifle and went looking for the arresting officer. He mistook Officer Smith for the officer who had arrested him and shot him.
  • Officer James Phelps suffered a fatal heart attack while assisting at the scene of a fire on November 9, 1894. He rushed into a burning building to help search for anyone trapped inside.  He collapsed and died when he exited the building.
  • Officer William Romaine was shot and killed August 12, 1917, after confronting a group of men who were creating a disturbance. The suspect fled the scene but was caught and executed in June 1919.
  • Officer William H. Poore died November 29, 1928, after he was injured the previous day while searching for two suspects who had stolen a suitcase. Poore fell through a train trestle and sustained a fatal head injury.