A Cedar Falls police officer is being honored by the state of Iowa this week, nearly 70 years after his death in the line of duty.

Everett Dutcher is one of four Iowa law enforcement officials whose names are being added to the state's Peace Officer Memorial in Des Moines. Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will honor the four men during a ceremony near the statehouse grounds at 10 a.m. on Friday (May 8, 2015).

Dutcher is among 13 officers from Black Hawk County who have died in uniform over the years, but is the only one from the Cedar Falls police department. He was killed on July 31, 1945, while assisting firefighters on a call.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, a website dedicated to remembering fallen law enforcement heroes across the country, Dutcher was fatally injured when the fire truck he was on collided with a Rock Island Railroad freight train at the intersection of 3rd and Iowa streets in Cedar Falls.

Dutcher was riding with two firefighters to the scene of a garage fire when the truck was struck by the train at a crossing on a curved section of track. It is believed that the fire truck's driver did not hear the train whistle.

Policeman Dutcher was thrown from the truck and hit his head on a crossing sign post, fracturing his skull. The two firefighters were also thrown from the truck, but survived their injuries.

At the time of his death, Dutcher had served with the Cedar Falls Police Department for four years. He was survived by his wife, father, and eight siblings.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Safety, the four officers being recognized on Friday all died between 1917 and 1945. The ceremony is being held in conjunction with National Police Week, which is May 10-16, 2015.

The list of names being added to Iowa's Peace Officer Memorial this week are:

  • Officer Marion Albert “Bert” Conrey - Knoxville Police Department, Died April 2, 1938
  • Officer Everett Luke Dutcher, Cedar Falls Police Department, Died July 31, 1945
  • Special Deputy Claude B. Dail - Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Department, Died August 25, 1932
  • Deputy Marshal Richard Lansing Eggleston - Osceola Police Department, Died November 22, 1917