Memorial Dedicated to the Heroes of Fort Wayne

By Nicole Hahn
By Katrina Helmer
By Max Resnik

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    The $250,000 memorial was built thanks to local donations.

    (John W. Davis)

4 photos

October 29, 2011 Updated Oct 30, 2013 at 6:33 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Saturday marks the official dedication of the new Fort Wayne Law Enforcement-Firefighter Memorial.

An ode to those who served Fort Wayne and died in the line of duty -- the $250,000 memorial was built with donations from citizens and businesses throughout the community. INC's Melissa Long emceed the dedication, honoring the fallen heroes of Fort Wayne.

Among the hundreds in attendance was Susan Matteson-Thomas, who lost her husband, Officer Brad Matteson, in the line of duty 11 years ago.

She says Brad was the life of the Fort Wayne Police Department during his tenure. She says he was also a good cop.

“His humor is definitely missed on the police department. He was definitely the jokester, definitely the one stirring the pot, but when it was time to be serious, he was one heck of an officer.”

Susan says her children were able to find comfort in the long-awaited memorial.

“It is very nice. I know that my kids find a lot of comfort when they come here to see something up in remembrance of their dad.”

You can visit the memorial at 1001 North Wells Street, Fort Wayne.

This structure is one of only seven combined police and firefighter memorials in a major city in the United States. The Law Enforcement/Firefighter Memorial has the names of nine police officers and 16 firefighters who have died ‘in the line of duty’. There are nine police agencies, including Indiana State Police District 22, and all volunteer and paid firefighting agencies within Allen County. In all, more than 1,500 men and women are represented.

The dedication ceremony included speeches from Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, Fort Wayne Police Chief Rusty York, Fort Wayne Fire Chief Pete Kelly and Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries.

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