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Press Release

U.S. Attorney’s Office Commemorates National Police Week 2023

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS – In honor of National Police Week 2023, U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers recognizes the service and sacrifice of federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as the family members, friends, and fellow officers they left behind.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy issued the first proclamation for Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week to remember and honor law enforcement officers for their service and sacrifices. Peace Officers Memorial Day, May 15, honors law enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty. According to National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund, in 2021, 472 U.S. law enforcement officers died in the line of duty, including 319 who succumbed to COVID-19.

The following seven officers who died in the line of duty in the Southern District of Indiana had their names read and added to the wall at the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial on Saturday, May 13, 2023, during a Candlelight Vigil in Washington, D.C.

  • JOHN MEDLEY WHISMAN, 45, Charlestown P.D. EOW 10/1/1936
  • WILLIAM JAMES COX, 67, Fairmount P.D. EOW 6/26/1941
  • GARY LAYNE WEINKE, 67, Indiana Department of Correction. EOW 4/25/2020
  • NOAH CLEON RAINEY, 29, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office. EOW 1/29/2022
  • NOAH JACOB SHAHNAVAZ, 24, Elwood P.D. EOW 7/31/2022
  • DOUGLAS WARREN SANFORD, 48, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. EOW 3/29/2022
  • SEARA BROOKE BURTON, 28, Richmond P.D. EOW 9/18/2022

“We honor these fallen heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of their communities.” said U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers. “We must never lose sight of the danger and difficulties that law enforcement officers face on our behalf. Without them, we cannot protect the public and maintain the rule of law. We are forever grateful for their bravery, selflessness, and sacrifice.”

Additionally, according to 2022 Statistics reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) through the Law Enforcement Officer Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program, 60 law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2022 were killed as a result of felonious acts, whereas 58 died in accidents. Deaths resulting from felonious acts decreased in 2022, lowering 17.8 percent from the previous year. Additional LEOKA statistics can be found on FBI’s Crime Data Explorer website for the LEOKA program. 


Updated May 15, 2023

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