Police officers from across Illinois gathered in Springfield Thursday to honor colleagues killed in the line of duty — including one killed in 2012.
On the Monday after Thanksgiving, Illinois State Police Trooper Kyle Deatherage was patrolling on his motorcycle on Interstate 55, about 30 miles south of Springfield. He pulled over another vehicle when the driver of a semi-truck is alleged to have hit and killed Deatherage. The driver has been charged with reckless homicide.
Deatherage, who was 32, is survived by a wife and two young children. They and other members of his family were greeted by Gov. Pat Quinn and other officials.
Brendan Kelly, the St. Clair County state’s attorney, spoke about the unique role of police officers in society. He quoted from the Book of Isiah: “When we ask the men and women of law enforcement to protect and shield us from the evil in our world — with their lives if necessary — they answer, ‘Here I am. Send me.’ “
The memorial service was for officers killed in 2012. There’s already a name waiting to be remembered at next year’s ceremony: 28-year-old James Sauter, another state trooper killed when a driver crashed into his vehicle.
— Brian Mackey