BY JOHN AND BARBARA MITCHELL, HONORARY TROOPERS
On friday, february 5, 2016, the honoring heroes Foundation’s President James Roth, board members, Captain Douglas McCleve of the Utah Highway Patrol, Jed Crittenden of the Department of Public Safety, Kris Repp of the Department of Public Safety, John Reed, Barbara Mitchell, John Mitchell, former board member, and Utah Highway Patrol Troopers Kris Cope and Brian Schultz gathered at the Unified Police Department’s headquarters to meet the families of the Unified Police Department’s fallen Officer Doug Barney and wounded Officer Jon Richey. The Foundation presented monetary donations to their families.
Mrs. Erika Barney, her daughters Matilda (Matti), Meredith (Merri) and her son Jacob (Jack), and Officer Jon Richey and his wife Hanna were present and graciously accepted monetary donations presented to them by Captain McCleve on behalf of the Honoring Heroes Foundation. Caught up in this emotional moment, Captain McCleve spoke words of support to Officer Barney’s wife Erika and Officer Richey: “As a fellow officer here in the State of Utah and representing the Honoring Heroes Foundation, I am proud and honored to be able to help in a small way. I, with my Foundation colleagues, pay our respects to these two, yours and our modern day heroes. The Honoring Heroes Foundation was established ‘to protect and provide for the well-being of fallen and wounded troopers as well as their dependents and the UHP employees supporting them.
The Foundation also reaches out to the employees of the Department of Public Safety when in need of financial support.’ But, we are humbled, honored and ready to assist other public safety agencies who also give selflessly ‘in the line of duty’ to protect our communities. Erika, we grieve with you and your family and are inspired by your example of fortitude and strength during The Honoring Heroes Foundation Reaches Out to Fallen and Wounded Officers BY JOHN AND BARBARA MITCHELL, HONORARY TROOPERS these, what have to be, emotionally upsetting times. And, Officer Richey, we are so proud of you and Zare uplifted to see you here and on the way to a speedy recovery. Thank you.”
Only weeks before on a bright Sunday morning, January 17, responding to an auto accident near 4500 South and 2160 East around 10:00 a. m., Officers Barney and Richey were caught in a deadly shootout. A single shot to the head by crazed drug addict Cory Lee Henderson downed Officer Barney. Officer Barney was taken to the Intermountain Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead. Officer Richey was struck three times, twice in his legs and once in his torso.
More than 10,000 people gathered at the Maverik Center to attend the funeral services and to honor Officer Barney on Monday, January 25. Among them were many law enforcement officers who came together from around the state and across the nation to pay their respects to Officer Barney.
Officer Barney’s widow Erika voiced these words courageously and eloquently at the funeral services in the Maverik Center: “I’m so proud of him.…I’m proud of you from the bottom of my heart. I thank you for your service.”
Among the guest speakers was Utah Governor Gary Herbert. He said that all the comments which he had heard about Officer Barney were that he was “a very good man.” He also stated how Officer Barney paid the ultimate price and showed the greatest love for others by putting his life on the line. Finally,quoting from the Scriptures, Governor Herbert said: “The Scriptures tell us, ‘greater love have no man than to lay down his life for his fellowman.’”
Thousands joined the 53-mile funeral procession from the Maverik Center to the burial site in Orem, and thousands more stood along the procession route lined with American flags and blue ribbons tied to trees, posts and fences to pay homage one last time to a true American hero.