Illinois State Police memorial park honors fallen troopers

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ A new memorial will honor the lives of Illinois State Police troopers who died in the line of duty.

The State Journal-Register reports the Illinois State Police Memorial Park includes a wall etched with the names of 67 troopers. It’s located near the state Capitol in Springfield.

State Police Director Leo Schmitz said during a Tuesday dedication ceremony: “We owe each of these men and women a huge debt of gratitude as well as something else _ to never forget.”

Bob Hehl’s wife, Sgt. Erin Hehl, was killed when the helicopter she was in crashed in a 1997 training exercise. He calls the park “a lasting monument” to troopers’ lives.

The Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation raised about $2.5 million to pay for the project.