Grinnell Police Sergeant Chris Wray places a wreath at the memorial while Grinnell Chief of Police Michael McClelland looks on during the dedication on Monday, May 16.
By J.O. Parker
Members of the Grinnell Police Department honored two of its own fallen officers and paid respect to fallen officers from across Iowa and the country in a special memorial ceremony on Monday, May 16 during National Police Week.
The two Grinnell Police Officers honored were Warren H. Binegar, 23, who was killed in the line of duty while directing traffic at an accident scene on Aug. 29, 1948 and Ralph W. Ogan, Jr., 34, who was shot and killed in the line of duty while investigating a burglary on Nov. 13, 1963. Officer Binegar had only been with the department for five days and Officer Ogan was a four-year veteran of the Grinnell Police Department.
The event was held by the memorial to both fallen officers located outside the Grinnell Police Department. The memorial was dedicated in the fall of 2014.
Also remembered was Prairie City Chief of Police Michael E. German who died of COVID-19 on Jan. 13, 2022.
Grinnell Chief of Police Michael McClelland shared the history of the fallen officers and GPD Chaplain Nate Smith gave the invocation and benediction. Grinnell firefighter Jed Petersen performed “Amazing Grace” on his bagpipes and Grinnell High School student Olivia Mick sang the “National Anthem.” Detective Holly Coogler with the GPD rang a bell in honor of each fallen officer.
Members of the Ogan family were present and included twins Bob Ogan and his sister, Roberta Schnell, and her husband, Dale. Also present were Ralph’s great-grandson, Brady Ogan, and family members, Mike Ogan and Monica Ogan. A member of the Binegar family was unable to attend.
“It was a very nice memorial,” Bob said. “Too bad Mom couldn’t be here for this. She loved the bagpipes.”
“I am very proud and honored to be part of recognizing our two fallen Grinnell Police Officers who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Grinnell Police Sergeant Chris Wray, who placed a wreath at the memorial. “It is my hope that we never have to add another name to this memorial. I also want to recognize the families of both police officers and the sacrifices they have had to make as well.”
“This is the time to appreciate all that the police do for us to protect us,” said Jim White, a long-time Grinnell resident, former business owner and member of the Grinnell City Council. “These two Grinnell officers gave the ultimate sacrifice and their families went on without a husband, dad, grandpa, uncle, brother and friend. I just hope everyone never loses sight of the importance of these men and the sacrifices that they and their families made. We owe them a huge debt of appreciation.”
“I'd just like to express that it's important for us to remember and honor the legacy of our fallen officers, as well as officers from Iowa and across the country, and that we appreciate the sacrifice that they and their families made for our city, county, and country,” noted Grinnell Police Sergeant Ben Smith. “We hope that this event can express that, and let those families know that they aren't forgotten.”