By Jeff Harrison
A fallen Midwest City police officer was honored last week during the 55th annual Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial Service.
Fred Thompson was among the 14 fallen officers dedicated Friday during the service at Metro Technology Center in Oklahoma City. His name joined the 850 others etched in stone at the memorial.
Thompson died on Oct. 6, 1963, after suffering an on-duty heart attack while walking his beat in downtown Midwest City the day before. Thompson had also been involved in breaking up fights at a high school football game Friday night. He served in the police department for 13 years.
His legacy of service lives on today through his family. Four generations have served as police or firefighters in the community, while several others have worked as nurses and teachers.
“In our family we have a history of public service,” said Midwest City Police Maj. Josh Herren who is Fred Thompson’s great grandson. “There have been several people in our family that have been public servants to this community starting with my great grandfather Fred Thompson.”
Josh’s grandfather Doug Herren, who passed away in January, and his father Mike Herren, both served on the Midwest City Fire Department. His youngest brother Daniel Herren currently serves as a Midwest City firefighter. Josh Herren has worked for the police department for 17 years.
The event was originally planned to take place at the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial located on the west grounds of the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety Headquarters, 3600 Martin Luther King Ave. It was moved to the nearby Metro Tech due to the weather.
Oklahoma Attorney General Getner Drummond was the keynote speaker for the service. He said he was reminded of the Bible verse John 15:13 that says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend.” Drummond said all the brave men and women honored have done that.
“It’s rare that one profession asks so much sacrifice of its members, but our men and women in uniform are among those exceptional few,” Drummond said. “They are willing to put themselves in harms way every day as a matter of protecting us.”
Drummond said the officers dedicated Friday spent a century of service to the state. The earliest was in the 1920s and the most recent was just eight months ago.
“No matter the color of their uniform, they all shared a common goal of protecting Oklahomans and they shared a willingness to do that at any cost,” he said.
While we cannot repay their service, Drummond said it’s important to remember and honor them every day.
Escorted families stuck red roses in a wreath shaped like the state of Oklahoma, symbolizing their loved one who was taken too soon. Herren escorted his grandmother Glenna Herren who placed a rose in her father’s honor.
Midwest City Sgt. Frank Rodriguez, who passed away in September 2021 from complications from COVID-19, was also honored during the ceremony.
At the conclusion of the service, the group moved outside for a final salute and closing prayer.