CLAYTON, Mo. – The 2021 edition of the “End of Watch – Ride to Remember” made a stop at St. Louis County Police Headquarters on Friday. The 40-foot trailer displays the names and faces of the 608 members of the law enforcement community that died in the line of duty in 2021.
“These men and women have a beautiful story to be told about them,” said Jagrut Shah, founder of Beyond the Call. “A story of life about who they were. Whether they were fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters. And we want to share that with everybody so that they know that these are not just a number or name.”
Launched in June, the rolling exhibit will have visited 265 police departments nationwide and traveled over 2,300 miles when the tour concludes later this month.
A pair of Missouri officers who passed away last December are displayed on the tribute: St. Louis County Police Detective Antonio Valentine and Missouri State Highway Patrol Corporal Lonnie Lejeune. Both men’s families and their respective departments were on hand for the tribute.
“We don’t want them to forget Antonio Valentine,” said St. Louis County Police Chief Kenneth Gregory. “And that the people that don’t know these other officers don’t forget them too and what they went through and the sacrifices they made.”
Valentine was killed from injuries sustained during a head-on crash while Lejuene died from complications from COVID he contracted while on duty.
“It’s very emotional,” said Lt. Eric Brown, an MSHP spokesperson. “For one to see the officers from Missouri that lost their lives in the last year. And then to the 608 officers across the country that lost their lives. It reminds you how important this job is and how much of a family it is.”
On Friday, the tour also made Illinois stops at the Brooklyn Police Department in honor of Officer Brian Pierce Jr., who was killed in August 2021 after being struck by a vehicle that was fleeing police, and the Pontoon Beach Police Department in honor of Officer Tyler Timmins, who was murdered while investigating a stolen vehicle last October.