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State Honors Police Killed In Line Of Duty

Credit Hannah Meisel/WUIS
Hundreds of bagpipers and drummers united for renditions of 'Amazing Grace' at the 29th annual police memorial at the Capitol Thursday.

  Families of police officers who died on the job were in Springfield Thursday to honor their loved ones.

Three years and fifty three days. That's how long Pam Robtoy says she's lived without her fiancee, U.S. Marshal John Perry. He was shot to death trying to arrest a fugitive in St. Louis, in 2011.

Robtoy says she still doesn't understand why John was killed, but she finds comfort knowing he died serving others.

"I was supposed to be planning a wedding. I wasn't supposed to be planning a funeral service. There had to be some great reason."

Robtoy says she's found comfort among fellow survivors who support each other when memories become too much to bear.

Other officers killed in the past year were also honored at the ceremony, including State Trooper James Sauter, who died when a truck driver — allegedly tired — read ended his squad car in the north suburbs in March 2013.

Audio of a bagpipe rendition of 'Amazing Grace' for the 29th annual Police Memorial outside the Capitol on Thursday.

Hannah covers state government and politics for Capitol News Illinois. She's been dedicated to the statehouse beat since interning at NPR Illinois in 2014, with subsequent stops at WILL-AM/FM, Law360, Capitol Fax and The Daily Line before returning to NPR Illinois in 2020 and moving to CNI in 2023.
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