Ceremony to Honor Fallen Paducah Police Officers on May 16, 2018

Time: 1 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, May 16, 2018


As part of the national Peace Officers’ Memorial Week, the Paducah Police Department honored its four fallen officers today, placing flags and wreaths on their graves at two local cemeteries, and unveiling footstones identifying them as PPD officers who died in the line of duty.
The four officers are as follows:

  • Officer Cal Smith was ambushed and shot to death on Oct. 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 Nov. 9, 1894. He rushed into a burning building to help search for anyone trapped inside, and collapsed and died when he exited the building.
  • Officer William Romain was shot and killed on 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 on Nov. 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 head injury.

Members of the police department’s Honor Guard, other officers and members of the public gathered at 1 p.m. today at Mount Kenton Cemetery, where Officer Romain is buried. The police department was honored to have Mary Katherine Sanders and Laura Lambert, Officer Romain’s great-nieces, in attendance to uncover the footstone on his grave.
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The group then travelled to Oak Grove Cemetery, where officers Smith, Phelps and Poore are buried, for brief ceremonies there.
Det. Matt Scheer, a member of the PPD Honor Guard, and Jerry Beyer of Wilbert Vault Co. have been working for about a year on the footstones. The department offers its sincere thanks to Wilbert Vault for its generous assistance with this project.

wreath on gravefamily with officers