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Johnson County dedicates Fallen Officers Memorial

On the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the nation, Johnson County dedicated a Fallen Officers Memorial on Tuesday, Sept. 11, in front of the Sheriff’s Operations Building at the Fred Allenbrand Criminal Justice Complex at the New Century AirCenter.

Featured speakers at the ceremony were U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, Sheriff Calvin Hayden and Life Scout Luke Gwartney, who designed and completed the memorial as an Eagle Scout project.

The Fallen Officers Memorial honors three officers from the Sheriff’s Office who were killed in the line of duty, including Master Deputy Brandon Collins, who died on Sept. 11, 2016, when his parked patrol car was hit by a vehicle driven by an intoxicated driver. Members of his family were special guests at the dedication.

The memorial also honors Sgt. Willard Carver who was shot and killed on June 23, 1952, while attempting to arrest two men for an auto theft along with Detective Gerald Foote. He was killed on April 3, 1971, in a two-car crash on I-35 near 119th Street while he was involved in a homicide investigation with an officer from the Olathe Police Department.

The dedication completes a project that has spanned more than a year in the making. Gwartney designed the layout of the memorial himself and through fundraising and donations, was able to raise slightly more than $8,000 in private donations for the project without the use of any public funding.