Gone, But Not Forgotten
This is National Police Week, a time when Black Hawk County law enforcement officers usually gather for an annual memorial service to remember local officers who have died in the line of duty.
Cedar Falls Mayor Rob Green announced Tuesday that this year's event has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Since 1902, 14 local officers -- all men -- from six different agencies in Black Hawk County have been killed in uniform while protecting the public. The list includes eight Waterloo police officers, two sheriff's deputies, two Iowa State Patrol troopers from Post No. 9 in Cedar falls, one La Porte City police officer and one Cedar Falls police officer.
The list of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice includes:
- John E. Bailey – Waterloo Police Dept. (died April 18, 1902)
- Fred P. Widmann – Waterloo Police Dept. (Nov. 11, 1908)
- William Goodenbour – Waterloo Police Dept. (July 1, 1920)
- Vinton J. Margretz – Waterloo Police Dept. (June 7, 1925)
- Wendell F. Dilworth – Black Hawk County Sheriff's Dept. (Dec. 16, 1932)
- Everett "Luke" Dutcher – Cedar Falls Police Dept. (July 31, 1945)
- William R. Mehlhorn, Jr. – Waterloo Police Dept. (Jan. 14, 1956)
- Gabriel C. LaFromboise – La Porte City Police Dept. (Dec. 9, 1976)
- Wayne R. Rice - Waterloo Police Dept. (July 12, 1981)
- Michael W. Hoing – Waterloo Police Dept. (July 12, 1981)
- William F. Mullikin – Black Hawk County Sheriff's Dept. (July 14, 1981)
- Charles G. Whitney – Iowa State Patrol (June 16, 1985)
- Lance G. Dietsch – Iowa State Patrol (June 30, 1989)
- Adam D. Liddle - Waterloo Police Dept. (Oct. 29, 2015)
Each law enforcement agency in Black Hawk County takes a turn at organizing the local Peace Officer Memorial Ceremony, which is rotated among them.
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page website, a total of 204 uniformed officers from Iowa and 24,232 across the country have died over the years. Statistics show 73 officers have been killed in the United States this year, but none were from Iowa.