TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — A ceremony took place at the Statehouse honoring those officers who have died within the Kansas area. Two names are being added to the monument. Trooper Ben Gardner was one of the officers at the ceremony.
“So we come together at this memorial here at our capital to reflect and just to pause and think about those who were killed,” Gardner said. “This year we’ve added two names. One being, Kansas State Officer Trooper. The other being a Reserve Topeka Police Department Officer.”
The honoring of the officers started Thursday night with friends and family gathering at the Statehouse for a candle lighting vigil. The next morning, Topeka police officers lit the monument in remembrance of the officers who have died.
After the ceremony, everyone gathered outside to continue in the honoring ceremony. The gathering took place around the monument located outside of the Statehouse.
Technical Trooper, Kent Newport of the Kansas Highway Patrol, is one of the names being added to the monument. Newport died October 2014 after helping capture a burglar involved in a high-speed chase.
“Kent Newport, I do know him. He was a person that wore the same uniform as I. We responded to events at different times throughout our career. And in addition to the last event was while I was there for his funeral.”
The second officer being remembered was Reserve Police Officer James Buffum, who died in 1975 after struggling with a criminal.
Officers are taking part in an event called ‘Project Blue Ribbon.’ Officers tie blue ribbons to their patrol cars and encourage locals to do the same.