Local police and sheriff's officers are putting the finishing touches on the law enforcement memorial in front of Wichita's City Hall. They've been working on the project for nearly a decade.
It's a big relief for a lot of local law enforcement officers who have been working on this project for many years. To finally see it almost complete is a breath of fresh air that could be seen in their feelings Wednesday.
To honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in law enforcement. Workers placed the sculpture on Wichita's law enforcement memorial Wednesday morning.
"While we're not quite finished, this is kinda the last big step to completion of the memorial for us and the families, so we're excited," said Wichita Police Captain Randy Landen, who heads up the memorial committee.
29 Wichita Police Officers and Sedgwick County Sheriff's Deputies have lost their lives in the line of duty. The sculpture is to honor each one of them. When the project got off the ground nearly 10 years ago, they started with a budget of $350,000, but delays and cost overruns ended up making the project cost nearly $750,000... all funded by private donations.
"*(There are) 29 families that this is going to mean an awful lot to," said Mary Galvan, who's husband was killed in the line of duty. "It tells them that the community hasn't forgotten and I feel very thankful to this community because it wouldn't have been possible without them."
The memorial is designed both to honor law enforcement officers and to be a public work of art. the centerpiece of the memorial is a life-sized bronze statue of two lions watching over the community. the lions stand at the base of an eternal flame.
Mary Galven's husband, Sergeant Jack Galvan, was killed while the bomb squad was destroying illegal fireworks in 2000.
"He did believe in this community," Galvan said. "We needed to recognize fallen officers and he thought that this was something that was long overdue, but I think there are 29 officers that are looking at this right now going good job."
There will eventually be a dedication ceremony for the beautiful sculpture at Wichita City Hall. They are planning for that sometime in the spring.