MOAB — Utah officers killed in the line of duty were remembered Saturday with a new trail dedicated to them.
Saturday morning, the Utah Peace Officers Association dedicated The Fallen Peace Officer Trail in memoriam of 14 fallen officers officers — one for every mile of the trail — killed in the line of duty. The off-road trail is just north of Moab in Grand County.
In Utah, 135 officers have been killed on duty. Next year, 14 more of those officers will be honored at the trail.
At each of the 14 mile markers sits a picture of a fallen officer.
Family members of those who died say it's nice their loved ones have not been forgotten.
"It's such an honor, and such a great display of respect for these guys," said Shawna Harris, whose husband, Kane County Deputy Brian Harris was shot and killed three years ago while pursuing a burglary suspect. "My daughters just said (of the rainy weather), 'You know, heaven is just crying with us because this is amazing."
Officers being honored during 2013:
- Trooper Aaron Beesley, Utah Highway Patrol, 2012
- Officer Jared Francom, Ogden City Police Department, 2012
- Deputy Brian Harris, Kane County Sheriff Office, 2010
- Officer Joshua Yazzie, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 2010
- Deputy Franco Aguilar, Sevier County Sheriff Office, 2010
- Deputy Josie Greathouse-Fox, Millard County Sheriff Office, 2010
- Deputy Kevin Orr, Uintah County Sheriff Office, 2006
- Officer Owen Farley, Salt Lake City Police Department, 1951
- Officer Stephen Anderson, Department of Corrections, 2007
- Officer Lloyd Larsen, Moab City Police Department, 1961
- Sheriff John Cottam, Washington County Sheriff Office, 1936
- Trooper George Van Wagenen, Utah Highway Patrol, 1931
- Officer William Strong, Provo City Police Department, 1899
- Officer Charles Porter, Division of Wildlife Resources, 1970
Originally, the trail was going to be named after Utah State Parks ranger Brody Young, who lives in Moab. He was shot nine times in 2010, but lived. When he was asked about having the trail named after him, he declined.
"Didn't want anything to do with it," Young said. "I told them I wasn't dead yet, and they only name trails after dead people."
Instead, he helped come up with the idea to dedicate the trail after all Utah law enforcement officers who have died.
"We go further, longer, without crying about it," said Beesley's mother, Laretta Beesley. "We still laugh at the things we remember."
Deputies Brian Harris, Franco Aguilar, Josie Greathouse-Fox, Kevin Orr, officers Owen Farley, Stephen Anderson, Lloyd Larsen, William Strong, Charles Porter, and trooper George Van Wagenen were also honored.
"Every time I hear one of the officers that have given their lives in the line of duty, it breaks my heart for their families because that's where I come from," Harris said. "I know what their family is going through."