FAYETTEVILLE — The local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 118 gathered on Friday, May 15 at Huse Memorial Park to pay tribute to a fallen brother.
Normally on Peace Officers Memorial Day, the chapter holds a memorial ceremony on the lawn of the Fayette County Courthouse to recognize all the law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty since the state's inception in 1863.
Due to COVID-19, the annual police memorial was shelved, but local officers, family members and the public took time to remember Fayette County Sheriff's Deputy Roger Lee Treadway and other fallen officers Friday.
Charles Bryant, a charter member of the FOP lodge and a friend and co-worker of Treadway, placed a wreath at Treadway's gravesite at Huse Memorial Park while members of the Fayette County Sheriff's Department stood at attention.
Treadway was shot and killed in the line of duty on Oct. 8, 1975. Friday's somber remembrance occurred on Peace Officers Memorial Day 2020. Wreaths honoring fallen officers were also placed in Raleigh and Nicholas counties on Friday.
Briefly recounting the day of Treadway's death, Bryant said several officers, including Treadway, had made plans to meet for dinner that night. Bryant was responding to a call in Mount Hope when he received a radio transmission that Treadway and his partner, Leland Dempsey, had been involved in a shootout. Treadway died on the scene.
Bryant said, even now, he remembers it "like last night."
While not being able to conduct the annual memorial service this year, Bryant and current FCSD and local Lodge 118 members felt it was important to not forget the fallen.
"We still want to remember the officers ... that have given the ultimate sacrifice," he said.
The Deputy Roger Lee Treadway Memorial Bridge, the pedestrian walkway bridge over U.S. Rte. 19, was dedicated in 2014.
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) led a resolution designating the week of May 10-16 as National Police Week, which is an annual event honoring law enforcement officers and their families and the 185 police officers that died in the line of duty in 2019.
"Our law enforcement officers risk their lives every day, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic," Manchin said in a press release. "West Virginia's law enforcement officers protect their communities with strength and integrity. We must continue to support our brave officers and provide them with the support they need to protect West Virginians from harm.
"Gayle and I thank all law enforcement officers across the Mountain State for their service and will continue to support them as they work tirelessly to keep their fellow West Virginians safe."
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