Jeffersonville police seek details in 68-year "officer down" case
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jeffersonville, Ind., police ask for help in a mystery that stretches back 68 years.
They're looking for information about an officer who died in the line of duty -- an officer they didn't know existed until recently.
Officers want to honor their fallen colleague in a new police station.
They've become detectives of history, but still haven't found one key item.
"I don't know why we don't have knowledge of this. But we want to right this," said Maj. Glenn Jackson.
He has a special assignment that takes him back to 1945.
So do the headlines from The Evening News.
"Officer Drury shot by Navy Deserter."
"Patrolman Drury fails to survive after long fight."
Jackson knows many of the facts about what happened.
Now he's in search of a picture of Officer William Albert Drury -- the only Jeffersonville officer to die in the line of duty.
"We don't want him to be forgotten for the future generations of Jeffesonville Police Department officers," Jackson said.
It happened on April 14, 1945 -- the day President Roosevelt's body arrived in Washington, D.C., for his funeral.
Officer Drury and another officer brought a Navy deserter to the federal courthouse in Louisville. The deserter, Victor Leach, grabbed the officer's revolver and shot Drury in the throat, as they struggled in the police car in the rear parking lot, reports said.
Leach fled and later died after police shot him. Drury died on June 20, 1945, of an infection from his wounds.
Drury is buried in Eastern Cemetery in Jeffersonville. He worked four years as a Jeffersonville officer.
Sharon Zimmerman at the Jeffersonville township library helped us to find that he was 60 years old, left six children and was likely divorced, according to Census records.
She also said that relatives of Victor Leach had asked reference librarians for research help several months ago. They wanted to know more about Leach, a man they said other relatives "never talked about" after the incident.
Major Jackson has found several relatives -- one of whom could not find Drury on the Officer Down memorial website (www.odmp.org).
"I told him, I really want a picture of your grandfather in that police uniform. We want to do something to memorialize this, to honor him."
Drury's since been listed -- and JPD is now learning about a forgotten part of its history.
Major Jackson seeks photos and other details about Officer Drury. Contact him through the Jeffersonville Police Department. Some of Drury's relatives are continuing to look through their photos and other keepsakes.
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