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Mitch M.
Republican KY

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  • Remembering Officer Daniel Ellis

    by Senator Mitch McConnell

    Posted on 2015-12-10

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    McCONNELL. Mr. President, I wish to pay tribute to a Kentucky police officer who was tragically lost in the line of duty. Officer Daniel Ellis of the Richmond Police Department was shot while searching an apartment for a robbery suspect on November 4, 2015, and died from his wounds 2 days later. He was 33 years old.

    ``Our lives will never be the same again, the lives of his fellow officers and of his family will never be the same,'' Richmond Police Chief Larry Brock said during Officer Ellis's funeral. ``He turned out to be a great police officer. He was one of those guys that just got it and got it early.'' Officer Ellis started at the department on August 11, 2008. He was known as a kindhearted man who treated others with dignity and respect. One day [[Page S8596]] while on duty, he saw a man in business clothes carrying a tent and walking down the street. When asked, the man told Officer Ellis that he had a job interview the next morning and had nowhere to spend the night. Officer Ellis paid to get him a room.

    Daniel graduated from Eastern Kentucky University, where his funeral service was held. Most of the school coliseum's 7,000 seats were full for the service. Hundreds of fellow police officers from across Kentucky and other States poured into Richmond to pay their respects.

    Members of Officer Ellis's family who are suffering from this loss include his wife, Katie; his son, Luke, who is only 4 years old; his parents, Kelly and Nancy West Ellis; two brothers; a sister; and his paternal grandmother.

    I know my colleagues in the United States Senate join me in wishing the Ellis family our utmost condolences after their horrible loss. We are humbled and we are grateful for Officer Daniel Ellis's service and his enormous sacrifice in the line of duty. I hold the deepest admiration and respect for every brave police officer across the Bluegrass State, all of whom put their lives in danger to protect us. Kentucky is thankful these men and women have made a sacred pledge to protect and defend.

    Local news Web site WLKY.com published a moving article about Officer Ellis and the outpouring of grief in the Richmond community after his death. I ask unanimous consent that the article be printed in the Record.

    There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows: [From WLKY.com, Nov. 12, 2015] Thousands Say Goodbye to Slain Richmond Officer Daniel Ellis--Chief Says ``Grief Is Nearly Inconsolable'' (By Carolyn Callahan and Emily Maher) Richmond, Ky.--He lost his life doing the job he loved.

    Thousands of people were in Richmond on Wednesday to say goodbye to Officer Daniel Ellis.

    The 33-year-old was shot a week ago during a robbery investigation.

    He died two days later.

    The funeral service was held at Alumni Coliseum at Eastern Kentucky University.

    Both Daniel and his wife, Katie, graduated from the school.

    For the first time since the deadly shooting, Richmond's police chief spoke publicly.

    ``We have lost our Daniel,'' Chief Larry Brock said. ``Our collective grief is nearly inconsolable.'' Ellis started with the Richmond Police Department in 2008.

    While Brock hoped Ellis would finish his career with the department, he never imagined it would end the way it did.

    ``Today we say goodbye to Officer Daniel Ellis. Our Daniel. But we will never forget him, his service, or his sacrifice,'' Brock said.

    Ellis leaves behind a wife and young son.

    ``Katie, I pledge to you and Luke that you will remain a part of our family. That we will always be there for you, and that you will never walk alone,'' Brock said.

    The chief said it rained after Ellis died.

    ``It was as if the angels themselves were crying at the loss of this special young man,'' Brock said.

    Then hours later, a rainbow appeared over the Richmond Police Department. The chief takes that as a sign that Ellis is still with them.

    ``Rest easy, Daniel. You have left us too early,'' he said.

    Shortly before he was killed, Ellis found out he was being promoted to detective.

    It's a job at which the chief said he would have excelled.

    ``From the kindergarten classrooms that he visited, to the courtrooms where his testimony could be counted on to be straightforward and truthful, he will be greatly missed,'' East End Church of Christ minister Phillip Shumake said.

    Hundreds lined downtown Richmond streets as Ellis received a hero's escort to his final resting place.

    Residents in Richmond said they wanted to show their thanks to the man who gave his life protecting theirs.

    Black and blue pinwheels and white ribbons with Ellis's badge number line the Eastern Bypass.

    Hundreds of officers drove down the street, escorting Ellis to his final resting place, while the community watched and supported an officer who was loved.

    ``Even though we wear a different badge, he is my brother,'' Shane Allen with Richmond Rescue said.

    ``You're grieving for someone that's not a family member, but he feels like a family member,'' community member Shelley Johnson said.

    ``We were actually on shift the day it happened and we were all trying to find out who it was. He is family,'' Allen said.

    A kind of family that is brought closer together in times of loss.

    ``And I was trying to explain to the kids, `Mommy, why do you cry?' And it's like something unexplainable and maybe they can understand that,'' Johnson said.

    The community stood together to pay their final respects holding signs calling Ellis a hero.

    ``It's unbelievable. It's really touching to see the support--that even though it's something tragic that has brought this community together so tightly, to see the support for somebody they might not even know. And to see them come out on a day and support him as he goes by to lay at rest,'' Allen said.

    Hundreds of officers from across the state escorted Ellis on a 100-mile journey to his final resting place.

    ``We just wanted to show what his service has meant to us,'' community member Sarah Roof said.

    As he passed by, blue balloons were released into the air as a final tribute to a man the community said will never be forgotten.

    ``He loved his job. He helped the community and that was his job. And that's what he wanted to do,'' Allen said.

    Ellis will be laid to rest in Adair County.

    The family has asked for donations to be made to the Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation or Supporting Heroes.


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