The mother of fallen Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officer David Moore is determined to make sure all of the department’s fallen heroes are remembered and honored, even those who died more than a 100 years ago.
Through research, the group discovered the fallen patrolman Samuel Irish died as a result of injuries he suffered while on duty. He will now be honored at the Law Enforcement and Firefighters Memorial in downtown Indianapolis and at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.
“I’ve been a genealogist for 30 years, but now it’s personal. When my son was killed in the line of duty in January 2011, you just naturally fall into the interest of remembering,” said Sgt. Jo Ann Moore, David Moore’s mother.
Sgt. Moore explained how she and the other volunteers who have ties to the department have been digging through library archives, internal documents and the web to fully understand what happened to Irish and other fallen officers who deserve more recognition.
He was first discovered through an old pension list that included his wife’s name.
“It was July 1906 that he suffered a heat stroke while working, and he was sent home, and he was never able to get back to work. The heat stroke damaged him mentally and physically,” said Sgt. Moore.
Chief Rick Hite declared Irish’s death an official line of duty death last month.
“We make a very important promise to these officers and their families that they will never be forgotten, and what Jo Moore and others are doing by looking back and making sure we recognize all those who gave their lives to the city, are very important,” said Lt. Chris Bailey.
Sgt. Moore is now looking for Irish’s family so that they can be honored as well. She is asking the public for help as she believes his descendents may still be living in the area.
“Right now it’s hard because were coming up on the third year anniversary, but when I do the research, I feel like I’m helping not only the officers that have fallen, but their family members because we’re all in this together,” she said.
Ceremonies will be held for Irish at the national monument in Washington, D.C. in May. A local ceremony at the downtown memorial will be held in September. Fallen Officer Rod Bradway will also be honored.
Volunteer members researching these officers includes retired Officer Bill Lichtenberg, who has passed, retired Officer Wayne Sharp, retired Officer Doug Scott, retired Civilian Jean Ritsema, and Lt. Tom Feeney.
Ritsema is credited with kick starting the effort.
Family members of Irish are encouraged to contact the police department. They can also reach out to Sgt. Jo Ann Moore directly. Her work is 1150 Shelby Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46203.