As the Tulsa Police Honor Guard celebrates 50 years of service, it is also planning a trip to Washington, D.C. to honor TPD officers who died in the line of duty.
Tulsa Police officers killed in the line of duty are honored locally at the police training academy. Both Officer Jerad Lindsey and Sgt. Craig Johnson's plaques are at the memorial. Both men died in 2020.
The honor guard is hoping to raise enough money to travel to the nation's capital to honor Johnson there, too.
As retired TPD Lt. Chris Witt looks back at the 50-year history of the Tulsa Police Honor Guard, he can proudly say he has been a part of it for 33 years.
"I love the tradition,” Witt said. Witt serves as a member and coordinator for the honor guard. He also works as the “Law Enforcement Coordinator” for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Tulsa.
The Honor Guard attends funerals for police officers, whether the officer died of natural causes, or in the line of duty.
Last year, Sgt. Johnson was shot and killed during a traffic stop and Officer Lindsey died from complications of COVID-19.
Johnson's name will be added to the National Police Officers Memorial Wall this year, and Witt said Lindsey will be honored at next year's ceremony.
Witt's goal is to raise $50,000 to send as many honor guard members to D.C. as possible in October. The trip will be from the 13-17th.
So far, Witt said they have $4,000. Half of that came from the Oklahoma City Police honor guard.
"It blew me away. It's incredible,” Witt said.
Witt recalls when Tulsans lined the streets last summer in support of Sgt. Johnson and asks them to consider helping to honor him again, this time on a national level.
"We're just wanting to get our people there so that we can stand strong, for representing our department and representing and honoring Craig,” Witt said.
If you'd like to help send the honor guard to Washington in the fall, click here.