Slain Lexington officer remembered

Mother: son died doing job he loved

vhoneycutt@herald-leader.comMay 1, 2010 

  • Police Academy graduation honors Officer Bryan J. Durman, who died Thursday in a hit-and-run near downtown Lexington.
  • If you want to help

    Memorial contributions may be made to the Bryan J. Durman Memorial Fund at Fifth-Third Bank.

    Send checks with attention to:

    Camille Thomas or the Fraternal Order of Police Bluegrass Lodge #4

    224 North Martin Luther King Boulevard

    Lexington, Ky. 40507

Last week, Lexington police officer Bryan Durman told his wife Brandy that he was concerned because motorists weren't exercising caution when driving near officers conducting police work on the roadside.

Durman, 27, was killed by a motorist Thursday while responding to a call on North Limestone.

"I think it was a premonition," his mother, Margaret Durman, said in an interview Friday.

Margaret Durman said her son "died doing something that he loved."

While she had not envisioned that her son would be a police officer, Margaret Durman said, as he was growing up, she "always felt that he would be a peacemaker."

From the time that Bryan Durman was a boy, Margaret Durman said, he was solid, quiet and "honorable." The word "honor" was tattooed over his heart, according to his sister Monique Wanner.

Durman was on the wrestling team at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.

After graduation in 2001, he joined the U.S. Air Force. He was a staff sergeant and served in both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, his sisters said.

While on a six-month stint in Qatar, an Arab emirate in the Middle East, he worked on flight navigation systems. It was in the Air Force that he met the soldier who would become his wife.

They have a 4-year-old son.

Bryan Durman left the Air Force in July 2007 and by December 2007 he was enrolled in the Lexington police academy.

"He loved his police work," Margaret Durman said.

Margaret Durman said her son was respectful of those whom he arrested.

Said Brandy Durman: "He did everything he could to make sure that people got justice."

His sister Michelle Wiesman said that he was taking courses to become a Spanish interpreter.

In addition to his wife, his mother, and his sisters Wiesman and Wanner, Durman has a twin sister, Danielle Hood; two brothers, John A. Day and David P. Durman II; and a brother-in-law, Robert Fletcher.

His father, David Durman, died in 2004.

During his two years on the force, Durman was credited for his efforts to save lives.

Brandy Durman said he earned an honor called The Lifesaving Award.

According to police officials, on March 19, around 11 p.m., Durman and Officer Jason Wallace responded to an injury collision at the intersection of Broadway and Fourth Street involving a motorcyclist.

The severely injured victim was unresponsive. Both officers immediately initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and continued emergency medical aid for several minutes until Lexington fire emergency medical technicians arrived.

The victim is currently recovering from his injuries, police said. In a description of the award, Lexington fire officials said "if not for the quick and decisive actions of both officers, the victim undoubtedly would not have survived the collision."

In addition, Durman received an Exceptional Service Award.

On Nov. 6, 2009, he and Officer Patrick Murray performed CPR on a woman who had called 911 from her car saying she was having medical problems. The officers found her even though she didn't give her exact location. Both of the awards are going to be presented to Durman's family.

"He always went above and beyond and he brought that out in other people,'' Brandy Durman said.

Wiesman, his sister, remembered, "He always tried to do the right thing, even if it wasn't the easy thing."

Reach Valarie Honeycutt Spears at (859) 231-3409, or 1-800-950-6397, ext. 3409.

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