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Honoring fallen public servants

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A guest editorial by Sen. Jimmy Higdon

The tragic loss of Officer Jason Ellis recently has left our community, the Commonwealth and the nation grieving for this outstanding member of the Bardstown Police Department, who was passionate about his work and the people he protected.

As a seven-year member of the police force, Officer Ellis was well known to all of us. He was a dedicated public servant, a devoted family man and a wonderful resident. Without a doubt, the passing of this fine, brave man is a profound loss for all of us.

As residents, we should be ever mindful of the courageous and competent men and women, like Officer Ellis, who risk their lives every day in order to protect our lives, our homes and our communities. Our police officers, firefighters, EMTs, sheriffs and their deputies and other first-responders are to be commended every day for their invaluable service.

This past fall in Marion County, Deputy Anthony Rakes was killed during a "routine" traffic stop. Like Officer Ellis, Deputy Rakes loved his community and loved being a law enforcement officer. He was another shining example of the heroes among us who work to keep us safe.

We lost another dedicated public servant last fall with the untimely passing of Mike Haydon. While his service was not on the front lines like Officer Ellis and Deputy Rakes, he nevertheless worked faithfully to ensure the betterment of our lives. Mike's commitment to serving his fellow Kentuckians at all levels of government, from Springfield to Frankfort, is to be commended. 

It is fitting we pay tribute to these men with visual and lasting reminders of them in our daily lives. Deputy Rakes and Mike Haydon will both have roads named in their honor. A memorial fund is being collected in Officer Ellis's name, as well as a separate fund being collected for his family.

If you wish to contribute to either of Officer Ellis's funds, you can do so by sending a check to Wilson and Muir Bank, 107 N. 3rd St., Bardstown, KY, 40004.

Sen. Jimmy Higdon, R-Lebanon, represents the 14th District, which includes Taylor, Marion, Mercer, Nelson and Washington counties.