FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Master Trooper James R. Bailey’s name will be engraved into the Law Enforcement/Firefighters Memorial in Fort Wayne this summer.
The memorial is just off of Wells Street, near the Wells Street Bridge.
Master Trooper Bailey was assigned to Indiana State Police’s 22nd district, which is within Allen County. He Was also a member of the Fraternal Order of Police Wayne Lodge 14 in Fort Wayne, despite working mainly in DeKalb County.
“We’re going to make sure that he is always honored here, that he’s never forgotten here, and that his family never walks alone,” FWPD Deputy Chief Mitch McKinney said.
McKinney is also the president of the FOP Wayne Lodge 14, and sits on the board for the Law Enforcement/Firefighters Memorial.
“When I come down here to the memorial, I read the names from top to bottom, and we never want another name to go on that wall,” McKinney explained. “When you come back here, and now you see the most recent ones, especially people you knew, you’ve worked with, some that you knew their families deeply, what means the most about that is you never forget the families. When I come down here it’s like ‘I need to give that family member a call. I haven’t called them for a while, to make sure that they know that they don’t walk alone.’ I invite the community to come down here and read these names on the wall and just remember these families and keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”
McKinney is the person who swore Bailey in to the FOP in Fort Wayne back in 2010.
He said he remembers Bailey as a person who you always knew where he stood on anything any time they talked.
McKinney added that he believes the world lost a hero.
“He’s a humble man, and you’ll find that all across law enforcement – that we know that we have to take actions like that, and we know it may be somebody that we never see again, but when it’s time to act, you get out and do what you’re supposed to do. No surprise that his wife was there doing the same thing because those are the types of people that they are, and it goes across the whole Indiana State Police brotherhood and sisterhood, across all city and county law enforcement. It’s what we do. It’s what we’re here for,” McKinney explained.
He hopes the community lines the streets for a procession following Bailey’s funeral on Saturday.
He’d also like to see business owners in northeast Indiana help show support to Bailey’s family.
“If you’re a business owner and you have a reader board, put a message up on your reader board showing us how much you cared for Master Trooper Bailey. And that’s when people drive by and through, that’s how the community comes together and sends that solidarity message of how much that family really means to that community,” McKinney said.
Master Trooper Bailey will also be honored at this years Police Officer Memorial Ceremony on Friday, May 12th.
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