Local memorial to fallen officer dedicated

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Dedication ceremonies on May 28 unveiled a memorial to Jeremy Bitner, an Englewood police officer who died in the line of duty.

The memorial stands in the lobby of the Englewood Police and Fire Building at 3615 S. Elati St.

Bitner, who was posthumously promoted to detective, was conducting a routine traffic stop in the 5200 block of South Broadway when he was hit and killed by a drunk driver just after midnight on May 28, 2012. He was the first officer killed in the line of duty in the history of the Englewood Police Department.

The gray, polished granite memorial faces the lobby doors, adjacent to the record area. It is etched with Bitner’s image, and its wording includes a quote from Gen. George Patton: “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”

The dedication was held on the first anniversary of Bitner’s death.

“A lot of people worked on developing the idea for this memorial and I feel the memorial is appropriate, lasting and a tribute to Jeremy,” Englewood Police Chief John Collins said. “The dedication speeches touched on Jeremy, his service and his life.”

He said Bitner’s brother spoke and thanked the community and the department for their support of the detective’s wife and children.

The detective’s fellow officers spoke, and a general theme was to let the Bitner family know that the community and the department won’t forget Jeremy or his family.

Police Cmdr. Sam Watson said about 125 people attended the May 28 ceremonies. He said there were police officers, firefighters, city officials and Englewood residents at the event.

“It was well done and the ceremony was a fitting tribute to a good officer,” he said.

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