Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office Roll Call of Honor
On August 18, 2000 two Milwaukee County Deputy Sheriffs were killed in a crash of the department's helicopter. The helicopter had been requested by the Sauk County (Wisconsin) Sheriff to assist in the search for a suspect in the murder of a Chicago Police Officer. While flying back to Milwaukee, the helicopter crashed into a farmer's field in Jefferson County.
At the time of the crash, the agency was in the planning stage for the building of a new training academy. As a result of the helicopter crash, then Sheriff Leverett Baldwin ordered that a memorial to all of the department's fallen officers be constructed in conjunction with the new academy. It was during Baldwin's tenure that three of the eight fallen officer's had died in the line of duty.
The Academy locale was selected because it was felt that recruits and experienced officers attending training would be reminded daily of the commitment necessary to be a law enforcement officer. After several meetings with the architects for the new building it was determined that a fitting Memorial could be built into an outdoor area that originally had been set aside as a break area.
The final design was selected as being a somber yet thought provoking reminder of what it means to be a law enforcement officer. It also highlights the total obligation that all law enforcement officers have in their service to the community.
The design of the memorial consists of a statue posed on top of a marble base. The statue consists of an officer, in uniform, down on one knee. The officer's head is bowed, with his left hand to his forehead, as if in thoughtful meditation. The officer's hat is under his right arm. The statue was created by Thomas Queoff, a Milwaukee artist. A deputy sheriff was the model for the statute, which is 1 ½ times life size. The marble base is 4'6" high and 5' in diameter. The base has eight sides, made from a black marble that contains silver and dark blue accents.
The words "Call to Duty" are engraved on the front of the base. The four sides of the base list the names of the eight deputy sheriffs who have given their lives for the citizens of Milwaukee County. Their names are arranged chronologically, with the dates of their deaths below their names. The three remaining sides contain thoughts, prayers and words contributed by members of the department.
The memorial is in a recessed area of the academy grounds, located in an alcove at the Northeast corner of the building. The alcove is protected from the predominant winter winds, and can be visited throughout the year. The West and South boundaries of the memorial are walls of the academy, which contain floor to ceiling glass and allows views of the memorial from within the building. The building's break area sits behind one of these walls with one of the main hallways behind the other. These locations offer a panoramic view of the entire Memorial.
The base and statue sit in a circular field of paving bricks, bearing messages of the Memorial's supporters. The bricks are surrounded by a Garden area that contains walkways to the memorial from the North, East and West. Ringing the garden is a circular walk and a low wall. Beyond the wall are trees and bushes, that when mature, will shield the memorial from traffic, creating a more private space. The Memorial's three flag poles bear the flags of the United States, Wisconsin and Milwaukee County.
Each part of the Memorial holds special significance. The statue represents the past, present and future deputies of the department who have to deal with the grief and sorrow of losing a fellow officer. The pose of the statue suggests an officer, ready to respond to calls, taking a moment to reflect. The base has eight sides to signify the eight hour shift that every Milwaukee County deputy works. The base is also meant to memorialize those who made the ultimate sacrifice. The circular format of the memorial signifies the always continuing service of the department to the community, despite the tragic events that led to The Memorial's creation.
The paving bricks are a means for the living to express their thoughts or to memorialize a loved one. The gardens, in their growing, living and dying throughout the seasons, represent the ebb and flow of officers within the department throughout its history.
The wall was built at bench height to allow visitors a place to rest while they remember those who have gone before them. The large trees on the perimeter symbolize the desire of the department's members to be strong and unyielding assets to the community.
On September 13, 2001 the ground breaking ceremony at the site of the memorial was held. The ceremony was very somber considering the events that took place just two days earlier on 9-11. The building and Memorial were completed on September 14, 2002.
The Memorial was formally dedicated by Sheriff David A Clarke Jr. on October 23, 2002. The ceremony included speeches by Sheriff Clarke and other dignitaries. Surviving members of the eight fallen officer's families were present and introduced.
The memorial was paid for entirely through donations. No tax dollars were used for its construction. Donations are still being accepted for the care and maintenance of the Memorial.
If you would like to order a brick or donate to our memorial click here for a form to do so. Other Links:
Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial
National Law Enforcement Memorial
Concerns of Police Survivors C.O.P.S.