Oxford lawman’s murder a part of history

Names on plaques.
Names on walls.
Lots of names, but no stories to tell who the names were. Working through the ranks of the Detroit Police Department — from patrol officer to police chief — Isaiah ‘Ike? McKinnon saw all the names of fallen officers. The names commemorated those officers who were killed in the line of duty and he wanted to know more.
‘When I got out of the military in 1965 I went into law enforcement. In one of the classes Inspector (Francis) Arbanas said, ‘Some of you guys will not make it 25 years. Some will be killed in the line of duty.? More shockingly he also said, ‘You will probably forget the names of some who died.? I was young and I said, ‘No way. I will never forget.?
Four years later, with the death of Detroit Officer Paul Begin, McKinnon said he reflected on all the officers who had been killed since he started on the force in ?65, and couldn’t remember all the names.
‘The Inspector’s words could not have been more prophetic. I made a promise that day to do what I could to make sure people would never forget,? McKinnon said.
He kept his promise. When he was appointed Detroit Police Chief in 1994, he assigned a sergeant to the archives to research Detroit’s fallen officers. By the time McKinnon retired from the force four and a half years later, the scope of McKinnon’s research grew to include all slain law enforcement officers throughout Michigan.
‘It became a full time job. When my family and I would go on vacation, I’d be on the beach sitting and typing. I’d be in contact with local departments and libraries across the state getting information,? he said, adding, ‘The more I learned and the more I wrote, the closer I became to those people (slain officers).?
In this effort McKinnon crossed paths with former Oxford police officer James Malcolm. McKinnon wanted information John ‘Jay? Gould, Oxford’s Night Watch Officer who was killed on Feb. 13, 1925. His killers were never found and Officer Gould left behind his wife, son and daughter to fend for themselves. Malcolm had spent considerable time researching the murder and was even able to get Officer Gould’s name inscribed on the wall at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC.
Officer Gould’s story is on pages 139-140 of the 164-page book.
* * *
According to McKinnon’s research, nearly 520 Michigan law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty.
‘Sadly, this book will never be complete,? he said, noting the recent cop killings in Detroit.
The latest police officer killed in the line of duty in Michigan was Deputy Perry Fillmore from the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department. His End of Watch (EOW) was March 27.
McKinnon said, ‘These stories should be shared not only with the individual departments, but also with the community . . . As we learn about these heroes let us also think of the wives, husbands and children they left behind and what happens to them.?
All proceeds from the sale of In The Line of Duty go to the Mi-Cops organization. Mi-Cops was organized in 1987 and is a state wide nonprofit volunteer organization.
Mi-Cops contributes to the emotional and psychological well-being of the surviving family members, friends and fellow officers of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. For more information on Mi-Cops visit their website www.mi-cops.com McKinnon’s book can be ordered at Border’s Book Store or by calling 313-259-9577.

Comments are closed.