You are here

Lawton Police Sgt. Jeremy Coe takes a moment to wipe clean the stone marker for J.W. Hayes, one of Lawton’s lawmen who have fallen casualty to the job, in Highland Cemetery. Coe has made it a labor of love to honor and remember fallen brothers in blue.

Honoring the Fallen

City police officer pays homage to lawmen

A simple but important code taught by his family while growing up led a Lawton police officer to do some investigation in an effort to remember his fallen brothers in blue.

Sgt. Jeremy Coe said his quest is to memorialize the four local lawmen who have fallen casualty to the job over the city's over a century of history.

"Growing up, I was always taught to respect and honor the dead," Coe said. 

Coe took that ethos  along with the experience gained as a police officer  to find the final resting places of the four men lost in the line of duty. Beginning in 2011, Coe began searching for the final earthly destinations for the four lawmen: Col. J.W. Hawkins, William "Will" Hayes, King Brown and Victor Robert Lee. 

"I think these guys deserve to be recognized," Coe said.

A project led by Sgt. Don Pestun a few years prior inspired Coe to begin digging into his department's history. Pestun led an effort to place an engraved head stone at the grave of Lawton's first police chief  a law enforcement legend who led the way as the Old West transitioned to the modern age  Heck Thomas.

While attempting to find where the four men are buried, along with any pertinent photos or information, Coe said there wasn't a lot to be found. Even finding where they are buried became an ordeal. 

"It was a small project that grew," Coe said. "It took a lot of research."

The Lawton Constitution

102 SW 3rd, Lawton, OK
Classifieds: (580) 357-9545
Circulation: (580) 353-6397
Switchboard: (580) 353-0620