Seattle Police Fallen Officer Memorial Project
Seattle Police Fallen Officer Memorial Project
Thanks to our generous community of supporters, As of June 6, 2023 we have raised the $16,000 needed to create and install a new, public memorial for Officer Alexandra “Lexi” Brenneman Harris (EOW June 13, 2021). We are so grateful. It truly took a community to raise this funding and we’re so honored to begin work on this meaningful project. Check back here for project status and updates!
Exemplifying the words “we will not forget…”
The Seattle Police Fallen Officer Memorial Project installs beautiful granite badges in honor of Seattle Police Officers who lost their lives in service to our community.
The inaugural memorial stone, installed August 27, 2023, is in honor of Detective Antonio Terry (EOW 06-04-1994) and is located at the Seattle Police Department’s South Precinct.
Moving forward, these granite mourning badges will be installed once a year for each of SPD’s fallen officers, at key locations that hold a connection to that particular officer. The next memorial will honor the department’s most recent loss, Officer Alexandra “Lexi” Brenneman Harris (EOW 06-13-2021), and move backwards through time.
Detective Terry’s mourning badge was installed out of sequence, simply because he is one of the few officers with an existing memorial in place. Unfortunately, it’s located beside the freeway exit ramp where he was shot and is difficult to safely visit. One of the underlying goals of the Fallen Officer Memorial Project is that the memorials be highly accessible to anyone who might like to pay their respects.
Each of these memorials cost roughly $16,000, including the granite badge, base, etching, and installation. As of June 6, 2023 we have completed fundraising for Officer Lexi Harris’s memorial, which will be installed in 2024. The next officer to be honored with a new public memorial is Officer Joselito “Lito” Barber (EOW August 13, 2006). If you would like to help us secure Officer Barber’s memorial, please visit our donation page.
May 15, 2023 marked the official launch of the Seattle Police Fallen Officer Memorial Project, which installs custom granite badges in honor of Seattle police officers who have died in the line of duty.
This project came to us in 2022 as a grant proposal from SPD Detective Britt (Sweeney) Kelly, who was in the car with Officer Tim Brenton when he was shot and killed in 2009. Kelly, still in field training at the time, was also shot in the ambush, but did not let the incident hinder her pursuit of a career in law enforcement.
Kelly was inspired to write the grant after she happened to pass by Brenton’s memorial, located at 29th Avenue and E Yesler Way, near where the two were shot. To her dismay, she found it in disarray, covered in weeds and not appropriately cared for. Spurred to action, she recruited those in her Unit to join her in cleaning up the memorial. This sparked the idea of having SPD’s post-Basic Law Enforcement Academy recruits help her clean and maintain the memorial. The manual act of maintenance dovetails neatly with conversations about line-of-duty deaths.
Her goal is not to frighten new officers but simply provide some insight into one of the realities of law enforcement. In her 15 years in law enforcement, she’s experienced three that struck close.
“It’s not, ‘will this happen to you?’ it’s, ‘how often?’” Kelly said.
She also began caring for Det. Antonio Terry’s memorial, which is located along an I-5 offramp and extremely challenging to access. Seeing an opportunity, her grant proposal requested the funding for a new memorial for Det. Terry, that would match Officer Brenton’s and be in a much more accessible location. She submitted her proposal in August of 2022, and Det. Terry’s new memorial was installed in the front lawn of SPD’s South Precinct on April 27, 2023.
Moving forward, these granite mourning badges will be installed once a year for each of SPD’s fallen officers, at locations that hold a connection to the fallen officer. The next memorial will honor the department’s most recent loss, Officer Alexandra “Lexi” Brenneman Harris (EOW 06-13-2021), and move backwards through time.
This project at its core exemplifies the often-uttered words; “we will never forget,” by giving the phrase a tangible and definitive form. More than anything else, she wanted to create beautiful, highly accessible spaces that anyone can visit, at any time of day or night, to grieve, mourn, remember, and give gratitude to the one fallen.
We want to thank Quiring Monuments for their incredible work on this project.
Each of the mourning badge memorials will mirror Officer Tim Brenton’s, which is located at 29th Avenue and East Yesler Way, where Brenton was shot and killed.
The memorial stone is a raised, 6-inch granite badge, that securely rests on top of a black granite foundation. To create the mourning band, the foundation was ordered polished, and then all but a narrow strip was sanded to grey.
The result is a beautiful glossy black band stretching across the stone. The badge is installed on top of this sturdy base, positioned so that the black band can be seen between the two halves of the badge. The lower half of the badge is inscribed with the fallen officer’s badge number.
Officer Alexandria “Lexi” Brenneman Harris EOW June 13, 2021: Location TBD
Detective Antonio Terry EOW June 4, 1994: SPD South Precinct 3001 S. Myrtle St., Seattle, 98108
Officer Tim Brenton EOW October 31, 2009: 29th Avenue and East Yesler Way, Seattle, 98122 *Note: Officer Brenton’s memorial was not an SPF project. This memorial was conceptualized by a neighborhood committee made up of Leschi Community Councilmembers and Leschi residents, and installed in 2010 by community volunteers. This was a community project that relied on both monetary and in-kind donations. We are so grateful for the Leschi community and their collective vision, which created Officer Brenton’s beautiful memorial. For more information on Brenton’s memorial, visit the Leschi Community Council webpage.
The Seattle Police Honor Guard was formed in 1932 and is one of the Nation’s oldest active Honor Guard Units. It is part of a timeless tradition of law enforcement honor guards tasked with ceremonial duties and military-style honors at memorial services and special events.
The Seattle Police Honor Guard exemplifies the City’s profound gratitude to those who have faithfully served the community and the country.
The primary mission of the Seattle Police Honor Guard is to attend all line of duty death (LODD) services in the state of Washington, British Columbia, Northern Oregon, and Western Idaho. In addition to LODDs, the Honor Guard also has an important role at the funerals of retired police officers.
The secondary mission of the Honor Guard is the presentation of the colors at public functions such as the Seattle Police Awards Ceremony and other City events as needed or requested. Several Honor Guard members have also attended events in Washington D.C. for Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week, which take place annually in May.
“Their duty was to serve. Our duty is to remember.”
The Seattle Police Foundation has supported the Seattle Police Honor Guard since 2003. At the time, the Honor Guard uniforms were outdated and ready for retirement, at over 30 years old. SPF provided the funding to purchase new ceremonial uniforms for these important ambassadors of the Seattle Police Department. Honor Guard uniforms are distinctive, steeped in honor and reverence for service.
Our support of the Seattle Police Honor Guard has continued over the years. In 2016, SPF provided funds for a 4-person SPD Honor Guard to travel to Dallas, Texas, to represent Seattle at the memorial services for the fallen officers of the Dallas Police Department. In 2021, we launched a Mourning Badge and Lapel Pin Fundraiser, which offered sworn SPD personnel the opportunity to purchase custom Mourning Badges, and gives sworn and civilian personnel the opportunity to purchase lapel pins.
The net proceeds from the Mourning Badge fundraiser supported uniforms, equipment maintenance, and travel expenses for the Seattle Police Department’s Honor Guard.
In 2020, SPF launched a fundraising initiative to purchase custom mourning badges for all the officers of SPD.
This initiative came on the heels of a policy change that restricted the use of the removable black mourning bands that officers had historically placed around their badges to honor their fallen.
The mourning band on the police badge is the traditional way for a law enforcement officer to publicly mourn the death of a fellow officer. Mourning bands are an emblem of grief, loss, solidarity, honor, and resilience, and are worn with great respect. The policy change was meant to increase transparency in response to community concerns that the black bands were a way for officers to potentially hide their identity. Because of this, SPD had to achieve a balance between honoring officers killed in the line of duty and honoring their commitment to increase trust with the Seattle community.
Custom mourning badges engraved with each officer’s badge number were an elegant solution, and in June of 2020, we went to work to raise the needed funding.
SPF reached out to the community and asked for support to fund the purchase of these new custom badges that featured the mourning band with the officers’ badge numbers clearly displayed. The response was overwhelming and heartwarming. Because of the generosity of our SPF community, we quickly exceeded our goal of $70,000 and were able to provide these meaningful badges to the men and women of SPD.