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Archive for Friday, April 24, 1998

LOCAL POLICE TO HONOR OFFICER SLAIN ON DUTY

April 24, 1998

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One of three Lawrence police officers who died while in the line of duty will be remembered today.

Members of the Lawrence Police Department, from Chief Ron Olin on down the ranks, will be wearing their uniforms today to honor a fallen officer.

Melvin Howe died 67 years ago today, becoming the third and most recent Lawrence police officer to die in the line of duty.

Sgt. George Wheeler said the department honors the officers on the anniversary of their deaths by wearing a black band across their badges.

Howe was shot by a motorist who was stopped after traveling erratically on U.S. Highway 40. Only on the police force for five months, Howe was gunned down by Onie Knight, an inmate at an Oklahoma penitentiary who was released by mistake.

Chris Mulvenon, assistant to Olin, researched the deaths of Howe and two other Lawrence police officers while serving on the department's awards and history committee. His efforts resulted in getting Howe and Wilson Pringle recognized on the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Pringle was the first Lawrence officer killed in the line of duty. He was shot by an 18-year-old Earl Bullock on Oct. 11, 1909, while investigating residential and business burglaries. He died several days later at a hospital.

Officer Allen Moore died on May 22, 1901, hours after he accidentally dropped his gun and shot himself while at the Union Pacific Railroad Depot.

Wheeler said all police officers slain while on duty will be honored across the nation on May 15, Peace Officers Memorial Day. National Police Week is May 10-16.

-- Chris Koger's phone message number is 832-7126. His e-mail address is ckoger@ljworld.com.

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