Community helps fund memorials to honor fallen KSP troopers
They’re gone, but now there’s something visual to remember them by.
Kentucky State Police trooper Eric Chrisman and trooper Cameron Ponder died on duty last year, just months apart from each other.
Chrisman was responding to a reckless driver complaint in June when he died in a crash in Livingston County.
Ponder was shot and killed in September following a traffic stop in Lyon County.
In just a couple months, a monument will be on display in Graves County, right outside Kentucky State Police Post 1 —the place where both Eric Chrisman and Cameron Ponder began and ended their careers as troopers.
For Back the Badge President Mitch McClain, it’s a way to say thank you to the men and women who put their lives on the line every day.
"We just want them to know that they’re not alone, we do have their back, and we understand that they have a job to do and they have our support in the community," says McClain.
The monument is 4 feet tall and made completely out of granite. Some would say it’s a bit pricy at $2,000, but McClain and other Back the Badge supporters say it’s worth the price and, thanks to the help from people across western Kentucky, they were able to afford the monument.
"It’s just a little token of our appreciation from the community from Back the Badge, just to show how much we care about them," says McClain.
McClain says they hope to unveil the monument during Police Memorial Week in May.
Along with the granite monument, a GoFundMe account was set up to help purchase flag monuments that would be placed at the locations where the two troopers died. The online account raised more than $2,500. That money is now going towards a scholarship fund, because Woodman Life Insurance Company stepped up and donated the poles and flags.
Supporters say they hope to have the flag monuments up by the end of the week. Once it’s complete, both sites will have the American flag and the Kentucky State Police flag on display, with a plaque to remember the two troopers.