By all accounts, Glen Franklin was a prankster and somewhat mischievous kid in high school. His transcripts from Shelby County High School were average upon his graduation in 1967. But there was something special about this kid when he was finally interviewed with the Kentucky State Police in 1971. His lifelong dream of becoming a trooper was about to be realized.
Cadet Franklin’s records reveal that his mischievous streak was still present during training, earning him ten demerits and a weekend stay at the mid way point. However, his evaluator saw the potential and intelligence of this young recruit and recommended that he be allowed to continue the academy. It was certainly a proud day when Trooper Franklin and his classmates from cadet class 44 took the oath of office and were sworn in to the ranks of the Thin Gray Line on February 25, 1972.
Assigned to the Frankfort Post, Glen began the arduous task of learning the many facets of becoming an effective trooper during his first year of employment. His childhood dreams had been realized. He had made it. He was living the dream of being a Kentucky State Trooper.
Those dreams were shattered on November 26, 1972, when Glen was gunned down while attempting to make an undercover bootleg buy in Franklin County. Although he survived the incident, the prognosis was quick and sobering: Trooper Glen Franklin would never walk again. He would be confined to a wheelchair for the remainder of his life.
Administratively speaking, our agency was totally ill-prepared for such an incident. There were no statutory provisions regarding benefits for such a debilitating injury. It took several years and an Executive Order from the Governor before legislation was passed that allowed us to provide the care and coverage for such heroes.
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting with Glen and his wife Janice. They had come to Headquarters to sort out some health insurance issues and I asked to see them. Although I had spoken to him on the phone a few years prior to this, I had never had the pleasure of meeting him personally. Lieutenant Colonel(s) Williams and Miniard joined me in conversation with the Franklins for the next hour. I was immediately struck by the warmth and genuineness of this couple. After nearly forty years in a wheelchair, it would be easy to understand if Glen had become bitter and resentful of the obstacles that life had thrown his way. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Glen was upbeat and still maintained his sense of humor from years past.
Despite his physical challenges, Glen and his wife still live and maintain a working farm in the edge of Franklin County. They recently completed the adoption process of their grandson who they had helped raise and who had encountered numerous problems of abuse while growing up. It was apparent that Glen had made the decision to live life to it’s fullest with the hand of cards he had been dealt.
Glen is still a trooper on injury-time status because of the tax and insurance benefits that wouldn’t be afforded to him if he actually retired. His love and dedication to our agency became apparent when he proudly produced his badge and original identification card. Although he’s physically confined to a mechanized wheelchair, Trooper Glen Franklin still has the heart of a trooper.
During our conversation, it was revealed to me that Glen is driving an older model van that has been equipped for his special needs. However, the van is starting to age and the mechanical lifts that assist him are beginning to fail. I learned that it will take a minimum of three thousand dollars to repair the existing equipment and that the Franklin’s do not receive assistance for these types of expenditures. I should add that this information was told to me in passing and certainly was not a plea for assistance of any kind. This is where I need your help.
As I discussed this amongst members of the Command Staff, we decided that it would be more than appropriate to put out an all call to current and retired members of our agency. Although it’s a lofty goal, I would like to raise enough monies to purchase the Franklin’s a new, fully equipped van for their daily travels. Would you be willing to donate just a few dollars for this man who has sacrificed so much for our agency and the citizens of the Commonwealth?
If so, please mail any donations to Ms. Lucille Marshall in my office no later than November 1, 2011. (Kentucky State Police HQ, 919 Versailles Road, Frankfort, KY 40601). Checks can be made payable to Glen Franklin.
We are quick to recognize our fallen troopers and place their photos and names in hallowed locations throughout our buildings. Unfortunately, we sometimes forget those who have lived with injury and excruciating pain as a result of their service. I hope that you will help coordinate the fundraising efforts for Trooper Franklin in your office, section, post and community. He is truly a forgotten hero that reminded me why we do what we do everyday.