Police mark graves of fallen officers, search for 8 more

LITTLE ROCK, AR – The Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police hopes to put markers on the graves of all 23 L.R.P.D. officers who’ve died in the line of duty.

“It’s part of our history,” said Det. Mark Knowles. “It’s part of what our men and women go through every day when they put on their uniform.”

One recently-marked grave belongs to William Copeland, the first fallen officer on-record, who died after fighting with an inmate in 1885. As for the other 22 graves — just one problem …

“Of the 23,” said Knowles, “we have 8 that have not been identified yet.”

That’s right, the Fraternal Order of Police has no idea where eight of its fallen officers are buried, for a variety of reasons.

Explained Knowles, “the lack of records. A lot of family members, especially the ones in the 1920’s, early 20’s and mid-20’s, family members are no longer living.”

The F.O.P. plans to keep searching though, and they point out even though William Copeland died in 1885, they didn’t know the location of his grave until 1996 — more than 100 years later.

“When their end of service comes and they’re here in a cemetary,” said Knowles, “that’s not the end of it for our people. That’s not the end of it for the F.O.P., it’s not the end of it for our police department. We’re here to take care of them and their families and whatever needs they may have for years and years and years to come.”

Here’s the list of the eight missing officers and the date of their death:

Sgt. Samuel Neal McDermont 09/03/1930
Ofc. Harvey L Biggs 07/27/1924
Det. Sgt. Luther C Hay 07/26/1923
Ofc. Charles Faulkner 07/13/1924
Ofc. John W Cabiness 08/12/1922
Ofc. Thomas D Hudson 08/19/1920
Sgt. William O Campbell 04/18/1912
Ofc. Alvin Joseph Free 09/27/1970

If you know where any of the officers are buried, you’re asked to please call the Little Rock Police Department or the Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police.

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