East Moline Police Salute Officer Killed in 1969
The East Moline Police Department honored their one officer killed in the line of duty on May 25, 1969. The Quad City Times says officer Richard Morton was killed after responding to a report of a man threatening children with a BB gun on 10th Avenue.
When Morton and officer Robert Butcher arrived on scene and attempted to have the man surrender his BB gun the man pulled a ,32 caliber revolver from his pocket and shot officer Morton in the chest. Officers Morton and Butcher returned fire and killed the man.
Each year the East Moline Police Department remembers officer Morton on the date of his end of watch. The Quad City Times reports Chief John Reynolds said:
We remember our fallen brother officer, Richard Morton, and thank officers for what they do on a daily basis, working a dangerous job on a daily basis.
I feel compelled to share this story from another quote Chief Reynolds gave the Times that bothers me:
If we don't honor our own, who will?
We should. While we're running away from the gun fire, out of the burning building, or asking an officer or officers to help us on the worst day of our life. They're running into the gun fire, into the burning building, or helping us on the worst day of our life.
How can we do that? Enroll in one of the Quad Cities Police Departments Citizens Academies. Strike up a quick conversation with an officer when you see him or her. Attend a promotion or academy graduation ceremony. Follow the various departments Facebook pages. Have the grace to thank an officer for his or her service even when they just gave you a ticket. Call your local Police Department and find out what charitable organization helps their fellow officers and families when necessary and make a donation.
Thank you officer Morton for your service and the reminder of the danger police officers put themselves in every time they go to work.