Families Remember Fallen Law Enforcement Officers In Washington DC

Monday, May 16th 2022, 10:05 pm


Families and friends of eight Oklahoma law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty are honoring their loved ones in Washington DC.

"National Police Week" includes a candlelight vigil along with the unveiling of each fallen officers' names added to the national memorial wall.

"This week has been organized chaos," said Kimber Take, Detective at TCSO. "It's kind of just like a great big get-together, but with the end goal of being able to process and understand and get through something horrible."

This is Detective Kimber Take's first time in DC. She said they're seeing people from all over that they've never met in person but know because of social media or have talked to in their line of work.

She said this whole experience is very sobering and it's like a punch to the gut when you get there because you're surrounded by thousands who are grieving just like you.

"The white chairs are the immediate family members, the survivors and their escorts. We got there yesterday and almost the entire lawn is white chairs," said Take.

Detective Kimber Take said more than 600 fallen officers' names were added to the Law Enforcement Memorial Wall. That's triple the average number added.

"You don't really realize that you know an entire nation is doing the exact same thing you've been doing," said Take. "I think [John would] be proud. I think he'd be happy to see that so many people came together to help his family."

National Police Week offers sessions for loved ones of officers who died in the line of duty.

"You can go to a class with coworkers that have lost someone, or if you're a spouse you go to a class with spouses who have lost someone. First year survivors. Previous year survivors. Even the kids have their own classes that are age group specific," said Take. "The stuff that they offer to the families really is necessary and it really is worth it. They get the opportunity to work out a lot of things that maybe they can't work out at home."

Take's mentor and friend Sgt. John Harris died last year from COVID-19.

Harris is the 13th member of the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office to die in the line duty since 1909.

Take said the world was a better place with him in it.

"Anytime anything big happens, I mean he used to be my go-to person to call, so not having that and trying to navigate his family and you know the friends and stuff that are here with us to honor him is hard," said Take. "I think everyone should understand that we would be lucky to have another person in the world like John. I mean he truly was the one person that took everyone's burdens onto himself."

Take is in Washington DC with John's parents, kids, and widow.

"They experience it differently than I do. I mean they're missing an entire part of their family. But I'm very honored to do that," said Take. "[John's wife] said that for her this was like the big closure that she needed. You get past the initial, and the funeral and the few things after that, but she said that this was like the big closure piece for her."

Hearing Harris' name read aloud during the memorial service was tough.

"It was like dealing with it all over again. It was like all those same emotions at the same time just hearing his name, and it made it very final," said Take.

However, the hardest part for Take was seeing his name written on the wall.

"I think you can't really prepare yourself to see someone's name etched in a wall like that. That was a lot," said Take.

Harris' name will be added to the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office Fallen Officer Memorial at Chandler Park, late Thursday morning. He's the first name added to the memorial since 1972.