Ceremony honors Kentucky’s fallen conservation officers

Ceremony honors Kentucky’s fallen conservation officers
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 3:46 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Family, friends and members of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources gathered Monday to honor the state’s fallen conservation officers.

Since 1918, the department has lost 10 of its conservation officers in the line of duty.

A large crowd gathered around the Kentucky Conservation Officers Memorial on the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife campus in Frankfort. Family members were given flowers as the name of each officer was called out.

Lining the brick pathway are seven of the officers’ portraits etched in stone. Each one depicts their age and how they died.

Rich Storm, the commissioner for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, says there’s nothing more important than remembering those who dedicated their lives to the safety of the community. He says people don’t often think about conservation officers being in harm’s way.

“We encounter a lot of interesting situations, from high-speed vehicle chases to constituents who usually have guns or bows, etc. Just, frankly, today we have a lot of things we didn’t encounter in the past like drugs, and so our officers are committed, and they’re highly trained,” said Storm.

Sherry Bryant says her husband, Douglas Bryant, was killed during a vehicle pursuit. She says the car he was chasing struck his patrol truck, causing him to crash and roll down the interstate. She says he served as an officer for 20 years.

“That was the most tragic day of my life. Last Friday, May 19, was 20 years,” said Bryant. “It seems like another world ago, but the last thing I said to my daughter after court was, ‘We’ll never get over, but we will get through it.’”

Commissioner Storm asks that everyone stays safe this Memorial Day weekend. He says he expects a lot of people to hit the water, so he reminds people to wear lifejackets, and they will have officers out on the water too if anyone needs help.