Lexington police observe first anniversary of officer's death

officers will attend vigil in d.c. in may

jkegley@herald-leader.comApril 29, 2011 

Officers will wear this badge, designed by Lexington Police Officer Josh Masterson.

Lexington police officers will be allowed to buy and wear special badges to memorialize the one-year anniversary of the death of Officer Bryan Durman.

Durman died after being struck by a sport-utility vehicle on April 29, 2010, while investigating a loud music complaint. He was the first officer to die in the line of duty in almost 25 years.

The memorial badge, designed by Lexington Police Officer Josh Masterson, is cast in polished silver metal and features the image of the fallen officers' memorial pillar in Phoenix Park in Lexington.

Officers can buy the $75 badges out-of-pocket. Proceeds will help fund the trips of 54 Lexington officers to Washington, D.C., to participate in National Police Week activities May 13-16.

On May 13, thousands of officers from across the nation will converge on the capital to participate in a candlelight vigil for officers who perished in 2010.

The trip costs $600 for each officer. Thanks to fund-raisers and donations to the local Fraternal Order of Police lodge, officers won't have to pay more than $50 out of pocket for the trip, said Detective Mike Sweeney, president of the union.

Officers have also been authorized to wear black "mourning bands" over their badges until the end of National Police Week, Police Chief Ronnie Bastin said.

Sweeney and Bastin sat down with reporters at police headquarters Thursday to discuss the painful anniversary of Durman's death.

With just 21/2 years on the force, Durman had amassed an "extremely high" number of awards and commendations, Bastin said, including The Lifesaving Award for reviving the critically injured victim of a motorcycle wreck last March.

Bastin said the Division of Police has not made any policy changes related to Durman's death.

The driver of the SUV that struck Durman, Glenn Doneghy, was indicted on murder and other charges. Doneghy's attorneys have blamed the death in part on where Durman was standing: on the passenger side of a car parked on the left side of a one-way street.

Bastin said the investigators have "reviewed the situation many times at length" but had not changed any police response policies. He said he could not speak more about it while the case was ongoing.

After Durman's death, the chief said, officers had become more supportive of one another and more aware of the perils first responders face.

"I think we're all very aware of the risks and dangers that we all carry every day," he said.

Durman's widow, Brandy Durman, asked for privacy during "a very difficult time" for her family. She issued a statement thanking the community and her husband's fellow officers for their support.

"The support we have received speaks volumes about this community Bryan so loved to serve," she said.

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