TERRE HAUTE —
Each year in May, the Indiana State Police districts conduct memorial services to honor the memory of those who have died in the line of duty.
On Wednesday, 46 names were read at the District 53 Post at Putnamville as ISP troopers, staff, retirees and supporters paid tribute to those fallen officers.
“It has been said that the strength of the Indiana State Police lies in the character of its people,” said Capt. Bob Burke. “You and I will long remember the deeds of our fallen comrades, who were ever mindful of their public trust. They have set the pattern we must follow in the days and years to come. Thus, we who remain do reaffirm our pledge to uphold the ideals and traditions for which they died.”
The Putnamville district has had two officers killed in the line of duty.
Sgt. George W. Campbell of Brazil, died June 18, 1969 while he was on assignment at the truck weigh scales near Putnamville. Campbell died of a heart attack during the arrest of a truck driver who had attempted to pass the weigh station.
Sr. Trooper James Patrick Bartram died March 31, 1998 as he was pursuing a speeding vehicle. The trooper attempted to avoid a car that pulled into his path and slid into an oncoming pickup truck. Bartram, along with the driver and passenger of the other vehicle, died in the crash.
The Putnamville district now includes the former Terre Haute district, which had a post located south of Terre Haute from 1956 to 2010.
“We were so fortunate that we did not lose a trooper in that duration,” Sgt. Joe Watts said of the former Terre Haute Post.
Wednesday’s ceremony was important for the officers who protect the public peace, Watts said.
“It shows the young troopers that the job they do is very important. And it shows that we remember those who have gone before us,” he said. “And, respect continues for those officers and their families throughout the Indiana State Police.”
Among the retirees attending was Denny Bridges, a 27-year ISP veteran, who now serves on the bench as judge of Putnam Superior Court.
“I’ve only missed one of these in 34 years,” Bridges said. “I come out of respect for the fallen troopers. I knew several of them.”
Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.