Two names added to Iowa Peace Officer Memorial at state ceremony honoring law enforcement

Isabella Rosario
Des Moines Register

After the pandemic disrupted plans for last year's ceremony, Iowans gathered Friday at the Iowa Capitol grounds in Des Moines to recognize law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty.

Stephan Bayens, Iowa Department of Public Safety commissioner, said this year was a "particularly poignant" one to honor police.

"Today's men and women of law enforcement serve at a time when they have increasingly become targets ... a time where officers find themselves asking with increasing frequency, 'Is it worth it?'" Bayens said.

Deputy Stephanie J. Schreurs and Special Officer John H. Bousman were added to the memorial Friday.

Officers from statewide law enforcement agencies gathered together to pay respect to the memories of two fallen law enforcement officers during the 2021 Peace Officer Memorial Ceremony at the Oran Pape State Office Building in Des Moines on Friday, May 7, 2021.

Schreurs, a 24-year veteran with the Lyon County Sheriff's Office, was responding to a call for service on Aug. 9, 2019, when she lost control of her vehicle and crashed. Schreurs was airlifted to a hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and died four days later.

Bousman, an officer with the Chicago and North Western Railway police, was guarding a drawbridge near Clinton when he was struck by a train on Aug. 10, 1922. He was discovered near the tracks the next morning.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks during the 2021 Peace Officer Memorial Ceremony at the Oran Pape State Office Building in Des Moines on Friday, May 7, 2021.

Gov. Kim Reynolds said this year's ceremony "weighs a little heavier on our hearts" following the death of State Patrol Sgt. Jim Smith, who died of a gunshot wound during a standoff in Grundy Center last month.

While Smith will be officially honored at next year's ceremony, Reynolds said, "We can hardly honor our fallen peace officers without acknowledging his service and ultimate sacrifice."

More:Fallen State Patrol Sgt. Jim Smith eulogized as a man of integrity, faith and goofy humor

Friday’s ceremony featured members of the Young Patriot's Club, who sang and signed "God Bless America." Retired Polk County Lt. James Jorgenson and bagpipers also performed.

Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg both expressed their gratitude for law enforcement with Bible verses.

"I can't help but think of Psalm 127, which reminds us, 'Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. May God continue to protect you, our watchmen,'" Gregg said.

Reynolds quoted the gospel of Matthew, saying, "'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall be called the children of God.' May God bless the peacekeepers of Iowa, their loved ones and our great state."