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Ceremony Honors Fallen Officers

A ceremony honoring fallen law enforcement officers of Sedgwick County will take place noon Friday in the City Council Chambers of City Hall in downtown Wichita.

Twenty-nine officers have fallen in the line of duty since 1871, including 19 Wichita police officers, eight Sedgwick County Sheriff’s deputies and one officer each from Derby and Clearwater.

For the first time in more than 14 years, more deaths occurred by gunshot in 2011 than traffic accidents.

The most recent death occurred when Deputy Brian Ethridge was shot and killed in an ambush on South Rock Road on September 28, 2009.

Sheriff Robert Hinshaw said Ethridge and the other 28 lives lost are not just names etched on a memorial.

“These are people of flesh and blood who put the welfare of their communities and thier families above their own welfare,” said Hinshaw.

“And that cost them their lives and that is a sacrifice that should not be forgotten.”

In Hinshaw’s 33 years on the job, five deputy sheriffs have been killed.

After the ceremony, Chief Norman Williams and Sheriff Robert Hinshaw plan to place a wreath in honor of the fallen officers at the Law Enforcement Memorial on the southwest corner of Central and Main.