As you remember these fallen officers, take comfort in recalling that they dedicated their lives to the same principles of honor, duty and courage that brought you to the badge. Such a life is truly rich. Take strength in knowing that when an officer falls, our resolve to serve those in need is not diminished. Our dedication to protecting those in danger is not weakened. Our commitment to remembering those with whom we shared the badge does not fade.
Godspeed, brothers and sisters. You fought the good fight. Now rest in peace…
Officer Down: Jefferson Taylor - [Riverside, Missouri]
By PoliceOne Staff
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Officer Jefferson “Jeff” Taylor of the Riverside (Mo.) Police Department, who was struck by lightning while aiding in relief efforts in the wake of the Joplin tornado, passed away at in Springfield (Mo.) today. Family members were at his side at St. John’s Hospital — where he had undergone successful skin graft surgery and was being treated for other complications related to injuries he suffered in that incident on Monday, May 23 — when he died. Taylor is the first officer in the history of Riverside Police Department to die in the line of duty.
Taylor was part of Riverside’s 12-member contingent of police officers, firefighters, and public works staff members who responded to the Joplin tornado disaster. On the evening after the tornado, as a new line of storms moved through the Joplin area, Taylor had just returned to a command post when lightning struck the ground near where he was working.
In a written statement, Greg Mills, Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety for the City of Riverside, said: “Jeff Taylor volunteered to assist with the Joplin disaster recovery. He was a highly dedicated officer and a devoted public servant, and we will always remember his sacrifice.”
Taylor — who is the first emergency responder to die as a result of the May 22 Joplin tornado — joined the Riverside Police Department in 2005 and was named Officer of the Year in 2008.
While departing this world he was still able to save three more people today. His liver and kidneys are being donated to those waiting and three more lives will be spared due to Jeffs generosity.
Cards and messages are welcome:
Taylor Family City of Riverside Police Department 2990 NW Vivion Road Riverside, MO 64150
In addition, an account has been established in honor of Officer Taylor to assist his family with expenses:
Taylor Benefit Account K.C. Police Credit Union 2800 East 14th Street Kansas City, MO 64127 www.kcpcu.org
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The TASER Foundation’s mission is to honor the service and sacrifice of local and federal law enforcement officers lost in the line of duty by providing financial and edcuational support to their families.