Eagle Scout to memorialize fallen officers

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Sealy City Council members last week unanimously approved the Eagle Scout project of Garrison Rutledge, who wants to build a memorial for fallen police officers at Jacqueline A. Cryan Memorial Park.

With a room full of Department of Public Safety troopers and Sealy Police Department officers standing behind him, Rutledge displayed a blueprint of a memorial for law enforcement officers complete with “trooper stones” that previously have been placed along the highway in Sealy.

“The reason I want to build this memorial is not only as a substantial Eagle Scout project but as a place to put these stones and any other stones I can find in Austin County,” Rutledge said. “We have concrete and a memorial stone donated already. What we’re looking for is a flagpole and lights so we can light up the memorial.”

Rutledge said he hopes to complete the project this fall.

Councilwoman Dee Anne Lerma, whose husband is a police officer, commended Rutledge for his choice of projects and asked why he chose Cryan Park. She expressed concerns because there may be future expansion at that site.

“I want [the memorial] to be special forever, and I don’t want to see it become part of a parking lot because then it won’t be as special,” Lerma said.

Assistant City Manager Warren Escovy said he thinks it is a good location because it would be in the center of the park.

“There are no problems with utilities and it’s going to be easy to maintain,” Escovy said. “I think that’s the best location.”

Councilman Larry Koy thanked Rutledge for having the courage to go before council and present his project.

“Years back I would have been scared as all get out,” Koy said. “You have a lot of good backing behind you.”

Koy noted that the site is small and suggested there might be a better location, such as Mark Frederick Park on Brookside Lane. Rutledge said one of the trooper stones he plans to place in the monument carries Frederick’s name.

“We were originally going to put it there but the Cryan family pointed out that Jacqueline A. Cryan, whose park is named after her, was actually a close friend of Mark Frederick,” Rutledge said. “They requested that we put it there.”

Councilwoman Jennifer Sullivan told Rutledge “it’s a great thing that you’re doing.”

“I really appreciate you coming here,” she said.

The project is the final step in Rutledge’s quest to become an Eagle Scout.

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