Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Rose Memorial Park was perhaps the safest place in Montana on Wednesday evening, as dozens of law enforcement officers representing police, sheriff’s office, Highway Patrol, and Fish, Wildlife and Parks gathered, along with a small crowd of civilians, to honor those officers who have died in the line of duty since the late 1800’s.

The keynote speaker was Montana’s Attorney General Austin Knudsen who described how several Missoula and Montana officers paid the ultimate price for their heroism.

Attorney General Knudsen was the Keynote Speaker at the Law Enforcement Memorial

“We're here tonight to remember and honor the memory of officers like Sergeant Alan Leslie Kimmery of the Missoula County Sheriff's Office who died in the line of duty on December 6 1984, when he was shot and killed after pulling a driver over for stealing $11 worth of gasoline,” began Knudsen. “Sergeant Kimmery pulled over a black Chevy Monte Carlo after the driver failed to pay for his gas and didn't receive word that the car had been stolen. In a senseless act of violence, as Sergeant Kimmery approached the driver's side window, the driver shot him in the chest killing him.”

He also spoke of a Broadwater County deputy who was killed in the line of duty, whose attackers fled to Missoula after killing Deputy Mason Moore.

Knudsen Featured Missoula and Broadwater County Deputies in his Speech

“In the memory of Broadwater County Sheriff's deputy Mason Moore, who was shot and killed while chasing a vehicle after an attempted traffic stop on May 16 2017,” he said. “During the pursuit, the occupants opened fire, severely wounding Mason Moore and causing his vehicle to crash. The suspects then made a U-turn and returned to the patrol car where they despicably murdered Deputy Moore. “One of the criminals who committed that depraved act that night was killed after being shot by pursuing officers (just outside Missoula). The other was convicted and sentenced to three concurrent life sentences in the Montana State Prison.”

Knudsen also honored all the other officers who gave their lives and have been wounded in the line of duty.

Knudsen Paid Tribute to all the Officers who Have Died in the Line of Duty

“I wish I had the time to share the story of each one of Montana's fallen officers,” he said. “Each one would be a story of courage, honor and respect. Sergeant Kimmery and Deputy Moore didn't know they were putting on their uniform for the last time on those fateful days. They were just doing their jobs keeping watch over their communities, just like the 142 other officers who have lost their life in the line of duty in Montana since 1878.”

Knudsen said the Montana Legislature recently passed a bill to assist the families of fallen and wounded officers.

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“During the last legislative session in 2023, my office worked with Senator Barry Asher to establish an End of Watch trust to help family members who are struggling to cope mentally, emotionally and unfortunately financially with the trauma of a line of duty death for to provide care to a catastrophically injured spouse when tragedies occur in the line of duty,” he said. “I will continue to do my part as Attorney General of Montana to support law enforcement all across the state. It is absolutely the most important job that I have as the attorney general.”

All retired law enforcement officers were also asked to rise to the applause of the audience.

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Gallery Credit: KC

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