Missoula law enforcement personnel pay respect to fallen officers

Zoë Buchli

In 1933, Prohibition Agent Paul A. Read was killed while arresting a moonshine peddler in Missoula. He was shot five times.

Read was one of 11 law enforcement agents honored at Missoula’s 23rd Annual Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony on Thursday. Local officers and their families gathered at Rose Park on a smoke-filled Missoula evening to honor the handful of western Montana officers who died on duty, dating back to 1878.

“We gather this evening to remember those who ended their watch far too soon,” keynote speaker U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Missoula residents, neighbors, family members and friends gathered Thursday at Rose Park to pay tribute and honor the life of Missoula’s fallen law enforcement officers during the 23rd annual Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony. U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana Jesse Laslovich attended and spoke at the memorial.

Stories of other officers killed on duty include 38-year-old Missoula County Undersheriff James Thompson, who died of heat exhaustion in 1878 during a lengthy horse chase. He rode a horse 60 miles into Flathead County in pursuit of a jail escapee.

“He thought he was responsible for that inmate escaping, which is why he was pursuing for 60

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