Salt Lake City Police Department honors 25 officers killed in the line of duty

May 15, 2024, 7:59 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — No matter how much time has passed, Bill Farley can still remember the day like it was yesterday.

“It has been 73 years. I was 16,” he said. “I was at football practice at South High School.”

It was 1951 when his father, Salt Lake City Police Sgt. Owen T. Farley, was shot by a robbery suspect.

Another officer came to that football field to tell Farley and pick him up.

“I jumped in his car and we went toward the hospital. And on the way to the hospital it came over the radio that my dad had died,” Farley said.

On Wednesday afternoon, Owen Farley, as well as twenty-four other Salt Lake City police officers killed in the line of duty were honored and remembered during a ceremony in front of police headquarters.

“As a police department, we want to make sure the legacies of our fallen officers endure, that their stories resonate for future officers and generations to come,” said Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown.

As each officer’s name was read, a red rose was put on the empty seat featuring the officer’s picture. There was a choir, a man playing the bagpipes, and even a gun salute as part of the ceremony, which was done during National Police Week.

Time may heal the pain, but the department wanted to make sure it didn’t forget.

“To the families of our fallen officers, we owe you an immeasurable debt of gratitude,” Brown said. “The bravery of a police officer is defined not only their actions, but also by the indelible mark they leave upon our city.”

Farley said he is thankful the department has not forgotten. He is also happy the department invited him and his wife Mary Farley to the ceremony.

Bill and Mary Farley at a gathering honoring Bill Farley’s father, who was killed in the line of duty at the Salt Lake Police Department in 1951. (Stuart Johnson, KSL TV)

“I am so grateful for them to do that,” he said.

Bill Farley said he can still remember kissing his dad goodbye as he dropped him off at that football practice that tragic day.

Not even 73 years can take away that memory.

“What a great guy he was and we just loved him very much,” he said.

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Salt Lake City Police Department honors 25 officers killed in the line of duty