Omaha has seen 25 police officers die in the line of duty, dating back to 1866. Their memories are being honored by a public art exhibit featuring life-sized mounted horse statues. The exhibit at Turner Park at the city’s Midtown Crossing center will continue until later this spring, when the statues are auctioned off for charity.
The “Horses of Honor” went on display last May to honor the fallen officers, including seven specific officers. Of the seven, three died in the line of duty, while the others died from health issues. The last officer to die in the line of duty was Kerrie Orozco in 2015. Before her, the city had gone 12 years in-between officer shootings. Jimmy Wilson died in the line of duty Aug. 20, 1995. It had been more than 21 years since Omaha had lost an officer in the line of duty. Jason “Tye” Pratt was the third officer killed in the line of duty since 1995, having been shot in September 2003.
Each horse was beautifully designed by local artists, with references for the officer or the city. They are positioned around Turner Park.
A horse statue recognizes all the police officers who have given their lives in the line of service to Omaha over the years. The horse resembles a unicorn.
Besides honoring police officers who died in the line of duty, the exhibit also recognizes four officers who passed due to health issues while on the job: Dawn Pollreis, Greg Hamill, Torrey Gully and Kirk Tynes.
A statue honors Kobus, a K-9 officer shot and killed in the line of duty. Kobus, a nine-year-old Belgian Malinois, was shot by a man barricaded in his house during a stand-off. A veteran of the police force for six years, Kobus was the first police dog killed in the line of duty since the K-9 program was re-established in 1996.
Besides the statues, a stainless steel police shield is located at Turner Park. A small display of police-related memorabilia is located in a storefront window at Midtown Crossing.
“Horses of Honor” offers a respectful way to recognize the police officers who dedicated their lives in service to Omaha. We recommend visiting the display and paying respect to these officers and others who serve the public.