City council members voted Tuesday to redesignate funds from the Charles Reider Memorial Scholarship Fund to purchase a police memorial monument to honor officers killed in the line of duty.
The City Council established a fund on Nov. 16. 2004, based on a $10,000 donation from former councilman John Reider in the name of his late brother and former Killeen Police Department sergeant to fund scholarships to the police academy for Harker Heights Police Department applicants.
Police Chief Mike Gentry said the fund has grown to $12,178 as of Sept. 30.
“The funds have never been used for funding academy scholarships because of the relatively low cost of the academy,” Gentry said, adding that no functional mechanism to award the scholarships was ever developed.
The parents of the late Andrew Rameas, a Heights police officer, donated $30,000 to the city for purchasing a memorial statue and monument to any Heights officer killed in the line of duty.
Rameas was killed in the line of duty on Dec. 20, 2010, while performing an extra-duty motorcycle funeral escort in Killeen,
Gentry said the proposed cost of the life-size bronze statue of a police officer and young child, dubbed “the protector,” would be $45,000 plus the cost of shipping and installation.
In a letter, Reider expressed his desire to reallocate and redesignate the monies from the scholarship fund to purchase the monument.
He also committed to fund cost overruns for the monument, including its shipping and installation.
“The monument will also include a place where, God forbid, we can add names of additional fallen officers,” Gentry said. “If it wasn’t for Mr. Reider and the Rameas family we would have never been able to fund this.”
Gentry said their goal is to have the memorial in place by May, with the hopes of tying into the annual Police Week Memorial.