By Alan Shope, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -
The Kansas City, KS, Police Department has lost 15 officers in the line of duty over the years.
On Wednesday, the department honored their fallen officers with an annual memorial service on the steps of City Hall.
Those in attendance say they will never forget those who gave so much.
"We are here to tell their families that we still care about them, and we're here today to show our grateful support for those of you who continue to put your life on the line to keep this community out of harms way," Interim Police Chief Ellen Hanson said.
It's been 16 years since Margie Asten-Hunter lost her husband and KCK police officer.
"It didn't seem real. It didn't seem possible. He was larger than life," she said.
Every day since, she's thought about him. He was killed in 1998 when the driver of a stolen truck intentionally hit him.
"I had just seen him that morning and given him a kiss on the back of his neck. Then two hours later he was gone," she said.
Wednesday's ceremony honored Asten-Hunter's husband and the 14 others, all tragically killed while serving the citizens of KCK.
He was the last KCK officer killed - the longest stretch without an officer death since 1922. Nationally, 42 officers have died in the line of duty so far this year.
"It's always a struggle. We have to make sure that we don't lose sight ... because just about every night, in one way or another, their lives are put in jeopardy," Hanson said.
The ceremony was a reminder of what officers are willing to give up to help keep citizens safe.
Asten-Hunter says her husband would have given anything for that cause. She hopes people will take away a special message from this.
"Never forget the fallen and appreciate the ones that are still here. They do much for us," she said.
Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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