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S.A.L.T. pays tribute to 31 area officers killed in the line of duty

Cheryl Ellis (left) received the S.A.L.T. Roger Fields Award of Excellence from Doug Austin (center). Photo by Gregory Dullum

More than 75 law enforcement officers, family members and supporters gathered at Cape Bible Chapel Thursday morning to pay tribute to officers who died in the line of duty from Southeast Missouri. The Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony was sponsored by Seniors and Lawmen Together (S.A.L.T.).

Thirty-one fallen officers were mentioned by name during the “Final Call” portion of the program. All had served with one agency or another within the area patrolled by Troop E of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The first mentioned was Jimmy Carr of the Scott County Sheriff’s Office, who was killed Jan., 15, 1875. The last officer added to the list was Lonnie R. Lejeune of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, who was killed on Dec. 10, 2021.

No one from the Jackson Police Department is included in the list; however, there are five officers from the Cape Girardeau Police Department and two listed from the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff’s Office.

Some had moved away before they met their fate. For example, Timothy Ruopp had served with the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff’s Office before he joined the San Diego, CA. Police Department and was killed on Sept. 16, 1984.

Officers from various agencies, including the Jackson Police Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol, walked forward and placed carnations in two vases and saluted as each fallen officer’s name was read by Chaplain Shawn Wasson, pastor of Bethany Baptist Church.

Col. Eric Olson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, was the keynote speaker for the event. He thanked the officers for putting their lives on the line to protect our communities.

The S.A.L.T. Roger Fields Award of Excellence was presented by Doug Austin to Cheryl Ellis.

The award is named after a former Cape Girardeau assistant police chief who played an important role making S.A.L.T. what it is today. Fields had a passion for S.A.L.T. and was the spark behind the Law Enforcement Memorial.

Ellis said she and Roger Fields were friends, and he was instrumental in getting her involved in S.A.L.T. 19 years ago, so receiving the award named after Fields carried special meaning to her.

JPD Assistant Chief Alex Broch, who serves as the current president of S.A.L.T., welcomed people to the ceremony and also gave closing remarks.

Opening music was performed by Braidy Talburt, daughter of Master Sergeant Shayne Talburt and the National Anthem was sung by Darin Stevens.

The colors were posted by the color guards from the Jackson and Cape Girardeau Police Departments, the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff’s Office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The opening prayer was given by Josh Stevens, pastor of Cape Bible Chapel, and closing prayer was given by the newest chaplain for the Cape Girardeau Police Department, Pastor Bob Lenz, senior pastor of Restoration Community Church in Scott City.

Cheryl Ellis (left) received the S.A.L.T. Roger Fields Award of Excellence from Doug Austin (center).

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at

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