KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that Sgt. Marcus Burke of the Claycomo, Mo., Police Department has received the 2014 Enoch B. Morelock Award.
The Enoch B. Morelock Award is an annual recognition of outstanding moral character, service to law enforcement and service to the community. Sgt. Burke was honored on Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, during the 12th Annual LECC Training Seminar in Springfield, Mo. The prestigious law enforcement award, presented annually by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, is named in honor of Sullivan County Sheriff Enoch B. Morelock, who was the first recorded line of duty death in the Western District of Missouri on Dec. 19, 1847.
Today’s police officer must be able to do more than write tickets or answer calls. Being a police officer requires being involved in your community. That is what Sgt. Burke exhibits in his small town on a daily basis. He is a well-respected member of the department and the community.
For example, a young boy in his town, whom the officer didn’t know, was diagnosed with brain cancer and told Sgt. Burke in 2010 that when he was cured he wanted to grow up and be a police officer. Sgt. Burke followed the boy’s progress and made regular visits to his home to check on him. In May 2011, Sgt. Burke coordinated with his chief and the city council to make a special presentation designating this boy as an honorary police officer. The city provided him with a police department t-shirt and ball cap; Sgt. Burke even bought the boy a duty belt with his own money.
Sgt. Burke took both on-duty and off-duty time to attend treatments with the young boy at home and in the hospital. In 2012, the boy was pronounced in a cancer-free remission status; however, earlier this year the cancer returned and moved to his spine. Sgt. Burke contacted the chief about providing an escort for the boy to the hospital for the first of many chemotherapy treatments. The chief approved and this event was carried by several TV stations in the area.
“Just show him, since he is an honorary police officer, that he is part of our family of law enforcement, and in this family no one fights alone,” Sgt. Burke was quoted in one interview. So into the front seat the boy jumped, fastened his seat belt, turned on the siren and away they went to the hospital. The boy’s father says Sgt. Burke gives their family a lot of support, which makes their situation a little easier on the family and on his son.
Enoch B. Morelock Award
Sullivan County Sheriff Enoch B. Morelock was the first recorded line of duty death in the Western District of Missouri on Dec. 19, 1847, in Sullivan County. Sheriff Morelock was shot and killed during a court‑ordered sale of the accused=s property. The accused killer, Patrick McIntry, was charged with 1st Degree Murder but was later acquitted. Within a year Mr. McIntry was found shot to death on the banks of a local river.
The annual Enoch B. Morelock Award recognizes individuals with outstanding moral character, service to law enforcement and to the community outside of law enforcement. Recipients may include officers from local police departments, sheriffs= offices, state agencies, or federal agencies as well as investigators from prosecutors= offices.