Tree honors police officers who lost their lives in 2021

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A metro scout troop is helping police departments on both sides of the state line honor fallen officers.

Troop 10 in Leawood decorated and shared the Honor Tree with the Overland Park Police Department. The tree is displayed in the patrol area of the Sanders Justice Center near W. 123rd Street and Foster in Overland Park.

The project is in memory of the dozens of police officers across the country who lost their lives in 2021. The name of each officer who died this year is on an ornament. Each ornament is then hung on the Honor Tree. This year’s tree includes the names of three Kansas City-area officers.

Officer Freddie Castro of the Overland Park Police Department died August 31. The 23-year-old passed away after a long batter with COVID-19.

Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans of the Independence, Missouri, Police Department died September 15. He was shot and killed while responding to a call with his partner. Madrid-Evans had just 18 shifts under his belt and was still in training when he was killed.

Officer Jordan Johnson of the Overland Park Police Department. Johnson died on Oct. 29.

The Overland Park Police Department said this is the second year it’s had the honor tree. The first was in 2020 when it stood to honor Officer Mike Mosher and Detective Brian Hampton of the Overland Park Police Department.

Mosher died May 3, 2020 after he stopped a driver involved in a hit-and-run crash. Hampton died just days later.

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