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Gone but not forgotten — fallen law enforcement officers memorial unveiled

Photo above: An honor guard from the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office stands at parade rest during the dedication of the Fallen Officers monument.

By Bob Sofaly

A black marble monolith dedicated to fallen law enforcement officers in Beaufort County was unveiled on Friday, August 14th between the Beaufort Police Department and City Hall.

The memorial was the Eagle Scout project of Logan McFee of Boy Scout Troop 251. But for some in attendance it was much more than that. Many officers recalled the tense day when Beaufort County Deputies Dyke Coursen and Dana Tate where gunned down while responding to a domestic call in early 2002. Their killer, Tyree Roberts, is still awaiting execution for the double killings.

Some even recalled the day when Deputy Russell Bell was killed with own revolver while escorting a mentally ill man. The man pulled Bell’s service revolver, killing him with his own weapon while being transported.

Or the tragic day in the fall of 1985 when S.C. Highway Patrolman Bruce Smalls was shot and killed after stopping an RV on I-95. His killer, Richard Johnson, also killed the RV owner, Daniel Swansen. Johnson was executed in 1991.

The names of three other officers killed in the line of duty were also inscribed on the monument. They are Deputy Edward Langford, killed in 1927; S.C. Highway Patrolman Richard V. Wood, 1969 and SC. Highway Patrolman David O’Brien, 1991.

From left: Staff Sgt. Chris Cushman of the City of Beaufort Police Department bids his final farewell to fallen comrades; Eagle Scout Candidate Logan McFee, left, is greeted by Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling; Boy Scouts for Troop 251 unveil the black marble monument with the names of the fallen officers from Beaufort County inscribed on it; An honor guard from the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office stands at parade rest during the dedication of the Fallen Officers monument.

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