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Goal
$100,000

Current
$72,000!

A LASTING TRIBUTE
TO THE MEN & WOMEN OF THE
KENTUCKY STATE POLICE
Horizonal Rule Image


Trooper Statue

Horizonal Rule Image

For All that serve
And those who gave All

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At the new Kentucky State Police academy facility to be completed in early 2015, a bronze statue of a modern day Trooper will be in the center of the compound. It will be a larger-than-life statue in formal uniform, striding toward the future, moving out to protect the innocent and subdue the criminal. The statue will be a highly detailed likeness of a Trooper ready to take the day and what may come.
 
A permanent tribute to the Troopers of the Kentucky State Police that serve the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky each day. The statue will represent those who have served, those that serve today, those that will serve, as well as those that have died in the line of duty.
 
The Kentucky State Police is currently partnering with the Post 5 Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association and the Kentucky State Police Professional Association to raise funds for the statue. We would greatly appreciate your contribution as tax dollars are not being used for the completion of the statue.

 

THE STATUE

Patch View Front view Hand View
The Trooper statue will be approximately 8' tall on a two foot stone base, making the finished work close to 10 feet tall. This puts the statue at a one and a quarter scale of real life. Every facet of the uniform buttons and stitching on the Kentucky State Police patch and shirt will be visible. From the top of the campaign hat to the heels of the shoes, this Trooper will be inspection ready.
 
The statue will be made of bronze using the traditional and time-honored lost-wax process. This is a time consuming and highly specialized art. The sculptor starts with a miniature version to determine the pose and scale. Then a clay version of the statue at actual size is created. The photos shown on this pages are of the full-size clay version. This is where the artist puts the detail and the personality to the statue. Once the clay version is made, several molds are made of sections of the statue. This mold is used to create a wax version, which in turn is coated to create the final mold. Next, molten bronze is poured into this mold, melting away the wax and conforming to every fine detail in the mold. Then the outer shell mold is broke away. The statue sections are welded and polished. A color or patina is applied to the statue. This finishing process is also a very skilled art.
 
In May of 2015 the Kentucky State Police will unveil a fitting symbol. A statue that will stand beyond our time to pay tribute to all the Troopers that have and will dedicate themselves to be the defense of the people and being the security that we all hold precious ...and to stand witness for those that gave their life in those efforts.
 

For All that serve and those who gave All

   
Fallen Heros Trooper McNelly
The 27 KSP Troopers and Officers who have died in the line of duty. Trooper James McNeely
E.O.W. 4/8/1972
 
News and Notes header
November 26, 2014
 
Trooper James McNeely and Officer David Childs discussed the latest movie release that afternoon on their way to the boat ramp at the Kentucky River. "The Godfather" was a historic thriller about the mafia and their influence in America. It had a star studded line-up but they would have to wait until it hit the discount theatres. With each of them having a wife and three kids, the expense of a first showing was out of the question. After all, last Sunday had been Easter and there wasn't a surplus of funds leftover. The conversation shifted to their kids as "A Horse with No Name" by America played in the background on the AM radio in the truck.
 
William Greenwell, a civilian, had been silent amidst the discussion. He had been visiting with his close friend McNeely when the attempt to locate call had come in from the Frankfort Post. Two teenage boys from Louisville had gone on a camping trip the day before in their canoe on the Kentucky River and hadn't been heard from since their departure. Greenwell had been invited to accompany the duo after the call had come in. Unaccustomed to such bantering, he was a bit anxious about the rescue mission with the rainfall that had occurred since Thursday. He failed to understand that these 'casual discussions' were a calming distraction for these two veteran officers. They were fully aware of the dangers of such a rescue attempt in this rain swollen river. The newscaster announced that Jack Nicklaus had just won the Masters as Childs turned off the radio and backed down the ramp.
 
The men discussed how swift the current was as the rain continued to fall. Usually the 18 foot craft with its big Evinrude could handle such conditions, but today it was straining to keep up. With Trooper McNeely operating the throttle, Officer Childs was at the bow watching for the teenagers while keeping a vigilant eye out for large debris that could damage the boat. The conditions were treacherous but they carefully proceeded on in the intermittent rain, committed to finding the two youth.
 
A short time into their trip the river took control of the craft and slammed it into Lock #4 causing it to capsize. Within seconds, the boat broke apart sending all three men into the raging current. Greenwell quickly surfaced, grabbing a branch near the shoreline until he was rescued by the lockmaster's son. He later recounted that "...it happened so fast that we didn't know what hit us." Trooper McNeely and Officer Childs were never seen alive again. Officer David Childs' body was located twenty days later near Tell City, Indiana. The body of Trooper James McNeely was never recovered. He was the eleventh Kentucky State Trooper killed in the line of duty, one day after celebrating his sixteenth year of service.
 
The date was April 8, 1972, and newspaper editorials would remind the public of "the collective debt that we owe to members of the public safety arena that risk their lives in such a thankless profession." Meanwhile, two widows and six children were left behind to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.
 
We continue to make progress towards our goal of erecting a bronze trooper statue at our academy compound. This incredible sculpture will represent all of the troopers and officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in our agency since its inception. It also serves as a permanent tribute to every member of our agency: past, present and future. During early discussions with the sculptor, it was decided that the features and appearance of the statue would possess a generic quality that would represent everyone...yet no one individual in the agency. That thought process changed a few months ago when we received an e-mail from one of our posts.
 
It seems that a Sergeant assigned to the Hazard Post had been discussing the statue with some of his squad. The conversation eventually focused on the death of Trooper McNeely and the fact that he was the only trooper that we had never brought home. Would it be possible for the sculpture to bear his resemblance? The idea was electrifying and resonated with everyone at Headquarters involved in the project. Photographs were quickly sent to the sculptor in order for the finished piece of art to bear a vague, but distinct resemblance to Trooper McNeely.
 
It should be noted that this statue is not a lone tribute to Trooper James McNeely. However, the symbolism of this gesture is powerful and adds to the layers of thought and imagery surrounding this iconic piece of art.
 
As we enter into the season of Thanksgiving let us continue our efforts to finish this project, honoring all of those who have gone before us, including the trooper that we were never able to bring home.