BULLITT COUNTY, Ky. — Family, friends, and fellow LMPD officers gathered at Hebron Cemetery in Bullitt Co.Tuesday morning for a memorial remembering Detective Deidre Mengedoht, who was killed in the line of duty in 2018.
Dozens of officers saluted their fallen colleague one year to the day of her passing.
"Obviously it's a very sad day for us in the department and we wanted to make sure we remember her for the great detective and great person she was and pay our honor and respect to her," 2nd Division Major Ryan Bates, said.
Officers said "Dee Dee" Mengedoht was known for her dedication to protect those she served. Mayor Greg Fischer and LMPD Chief Steve Conrad also attended the remembrance ceremony.
"It just lets you know she touched a lot of lives. Like I said, she was a great person, she was very well-respected in the department," Bates said. "A lot of people that were here either worked with her or she maybe trained or impacted them, in a positive manner or their career in a positive manner, and it shows they're willing to come out of bed early and come."
One year ago to the day, on Christmas Eve, Det. Mengedoht lost her life at 32 years old while on active duty.
An MSD truck driven by a former employee, Roger Burdette, crashed into the back of her police cruiser in the midst of a traffic stop on Interstate 64.
Burdette has admitted to taking multiple prescription drugs before the crash. He is facing several charges including murder and DUI, as well as a civil lawsuit filed by Detective Mengedoht's family.
"It's always tough, being on a holiday, being on Christmas eve. It's a time for celebration. Most people celebrate with their families and this is just a constant reminder of the sacrifices that law enforcement and police and first responders have to make in general," Bates said.
Dispatch officers also did a call-out this Christmas Eve to honor her at the time of her passing.
Leaving behind a now 10-year-old son, her death has also left a hole in the second division that she worked with.
"They're not the same," Bates said. "But I've been very proud of the second division officers and how they've performed throughout the year and how they've dealt with this tragic event. they've done a great job."
Mjr. Bates also said the department will likely plan to hold a memorial each year, saying it's important officers have a way to honor Mengedoht and pay their respects to her family.