Slain police officer Daniel Ellis has received several posthumous honors.
The municipal building that houses the Richmond Police Department was named for him last year, as was a segment of U.S. 25. A charitable foundation, a softball tournament and a 5K race all bear his name.
On Wednesday, 13 benches made from recycled plastic and dedicated to his memory were delivered to various places in Madison County.
More than 80 third-graders at Glenn R. Marshall Elementary School spearheaded an effort to raise money and collect plastic lids as a recycling project. The plastic was delivered to an Evansville, Ind., company that made the benches.
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Each bench has a plaque dedicated to Ellis, 33, who was shot while trying to arrest a suspect and died two days later in November 2015. Each plaque includes a quote often attributed to President Abraham Lincoln: “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
Among the sites getting benches were Richmond’s Lake Reba Park, White Hall State Historic Site and Madison Central High School. Katie Ellis, widow of Officer Ellis, is an assistant principal there.
“It was very special that our community continues to remember Daniel,” Katie Ellis said. Her 4-year-old son, Luke, attended Wednesday’s delivery of the bench to Madison Central.
“Thank you for all your hard work,” Katie Ellis told the third-graders.
Glenn R. Marshall Elementary School collected 3,500 pounds of plastic and raised $1,700 for the benches to be made by Green Tree Plastics in Evansville, third-grade teacher Melissa Sandusky said.
“Somebody else’s plastic made our benches, but then our plastic makes the next person’s benches,” she said.
As the school collected plastic, students sorted through it weekly to take out items that might not belong.
“It was fun but also kind of awkward,” said third-grader Zoey Pinson, 9. “Because one time I picked up a pair of toenail clippers.”
This is National Police Week. Established by Congress in 1962, the week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.