News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

July 11, 2012

Bronze casting work to begin on statue honoring fallen THPD officer Long, K9 officer Shadow

TERRE HAUTE — A clay statue honoring fallen Terre Haute Police Officer Brent D. Long and his police dog, Shadow, will be taken to Indianapolis today for a bronze casting.

It was a year ago today that Long was shot and killed while he and other police officers served a felony warrant on North 8th Street. Police dog Shadow was  injured in the incident.

The statue, which measures 5-feet, 11-inches tall, the height of Long, along with a life-size Shadow, will be transported to Sincerus Bronze Art Center and Castings by William H. “Bill” Wolfe, a West Terre Haute artist commissioned for the statue.

The Terre Haute Police Department conducted a fundraiser, selling wrist bands to raise money for a memorial. Police Chief John Plasse said about $30,000 was raised for the memorial, which will be placed at the current police station at 12th Street and Wabash Avenue. “This is from donations from our community, so in essence, it is their tribute to Brent as well,” Plasse said

The statue will be the centerpiece for a memorial honoring all 12 Terre Haute police officers killed on duty that will be established as part of a new police building, likely in 2013, Plasse said.

The city has separately honored fallen officers with special street signs.

In addition, a separate memorial is being considered for all city and county police as well as firefighters, Plasse said, noting six Vigo County sheriff’s deputies and 12 firefighters have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Wolfe said it will take about three months to create a final bronze statue.

For the past five months, Wolfe has worked on the life-size memorial in the former Mace Lincoln-Mercury building on Ohio Street. Wolfe leases the space for an art studio from First Financial bank.

Long’s widow, Danielle, and his mother, Cheryl Long, each participated in the creation of the statue. “Both gave approval with some slight changes,” Wolfe said. “Danielle wanted to take some clay off the sides of his face and his mother thought that I needed to work on his eyes a little bit.

“I have probably worked on this longer than any one I have worked on, mainly because people had so many photographs” of different images. Many also sought to have the statue more lifelike than artistic. “It is such an emotional thing,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe also said he has a personal interest in law enforcement.

“Well, my son Austin is a police officer in Clinton and I worry about him every day,” Wolfe said. “This statue will not only honor one of our fallen heroes, but hopefully remind us what a dangerous job they have and that no call is considered routine. They put their lives on the line, putting on a uniform and just going to work to protect and serve,” Wolfe said.

Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.

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