Lexington neighborhood uses park to honor officer killed nearby

Neighborhood erects tribute to Durman

kward1@herald-leader.comOctober 4, 2011 

Dozens of people gathered in a little park near Transylvania University on Monday night to dedicate a memorial to fallen Lexington police officer Bryan Durman.

Seth Brewer, president of the Northside Neighborhood Association, which owns the park, said the group decided to honor Durman because "he was our guy."

"He was our officer, and he died here, so it seemed right," he said.

Durman, 27, was hit by a sport-utility vehicle on North Limestone while investigating a noise complaint on the night of April 29, 2010. He was the first Lexington police offer to die in the line of duty in about 25 years.

The SUV's owner, Glenn Doneghy, was found guilty of manslaughter in June.

Mayor Jim Gray, police Chief Ronnie Bastin and scores of others attended the dedication of the monument, which reads, "In memoriam to fallen officer Bryan Durman and all those who dedicate their lives to the safety of our residents. Northside Neighborhood Association 2011."

Bastin said it was fitting that the stone was placed in "the neighborhood that he was so passionate about protecting and serving."

Durman's widow, Brandy Durman, told the crowd that the memorial "means a lot to me."

"This is a nice little way to kind of put an end to everything and move on with positive thoughts ... remembering what he stood for."

Brewer said the monument also was meant to honor all officers in the police department's central sector, which includes the north side. The officers "wake up every day, put their uniforms on and go out into a fight for our sake."

"We have a real close relationship with the police department," he said. "We take our nastiest problems to them."

Someone passing by Founders Park, at Broadway and Fifth Street, probably would assume that the little strip of land was the side yard to the house next door.

Now, Brewer said, the memorial gives the tiny park "some real purpose."

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