As I have travelled around the country during my career, I've noticed that most state police/highway patrol agencies have a special place in their training compound. Many times it is in honor of fallen troopers and represents the true core values of the agency. It is a place that each member shares and holds special in their heart, mind, and soul. As we planned and reflected on our new training facility, I decided that we also need and deserve such a place…a place that is sacred to each of us that train there and carries with it the heartbeat of our purpose. It should be emblematic of our deep commitment and represent the sacrifices that every past, present and future member makes while defending the citizens of our state. It should be powerful and instantly speak to the virtues of our organization.
After much planning and research, Benjamin Victor, a sculptor, was located in South Dakota. At 35, Mr. Victor is the only living sculptor to have two statues in the United States Capitol. His impressive and detailed works are displayed with pride across the world. He is currently working on the preliminary design of a seven and a half foot bronze sculpture of a Kentucky State Trooper that will take into account every detail that makes our uniform the historic and iconic symbol that it is. When completed, the sculpture will set in the middle of the academy courtyard on a custom granite base. I have included photographs of a Rhode Island State Trooper sculpture that Mr. Victor finished a few years ago. Standing nine feet tall, the statue is amazing in scope and detail. It is truly a masterful work of art in every sense of the word.
Such a lasting and monumental project comes at a price and this one is no exception. The completed project will cost $100,000 and take 8-10 months to complete. Obviously, our building budget does not have the funding for such a project nor would it be prudent to utilize state funds even if it were available. The entire amount of monies for this project will have to be raised from private contributions and fundraising activities within the agency. It will take a tremendous amount of effort and determination for us to raise this capital.
We have enlisted the aid of the Kentucky State Police Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association to help coordinate these efforts. We have already received commitments from a few corporations that should exceed several thousand dollars. As a formalized plan of action takes place, I ask for your assistance in helping us raise funds for this incredible piece of art that will stand for generations to come. "The Trooper Project" will memorialize those who have served and those who will serve tomorrow and those who gave their lives in defense of our state.
With your help we can make this project a reality. Brochures and additional information will be coming out in the next few weeks. Donations can be made to:
The Trooper Project
919 Versailles Road
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
All contributions are tax deductible.
A powerful bronze sculpture "For all that serve, and those who gave all" seems more than appropriate at this juncture in our history.