City of Southfield honors fallen police officers who paid the ultimate price

It's National Police Week and on Friday in Southfield it was a day to honor and respect those who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The memorial service was held to recognize fallen heroes: Officers Donald l. Harding and James McMahon.

"Their legacies are etched on our souls, with these families as a token of our appreciation," said Rev. Rosemerry Allen, police chaplain. "Because in the City of Southfield, with this police chief, and the great team that works alongside him  ... We are Southfield proud and Southfield strong."

On August 5th 1962 at the age of 27, Harding and his partner, Officer Jim Kirkpatrick, were on patrol on Eight Mile Road when they saw two vehicles drag racing.

The officers pursued the vehicles and that's when one of the racing vehicles made a U-turn, heading for the officers’ police car. To avoid being hit, Officer Harding swerved out of the way and hit a tree near Beech Road. Harding was killed in the crash and Officer Kirkpatrick was seriously injured. The driver was never apprehended.

"May it never be forgotten as you patrol our beats, that you are human too, simply protecting our streets," said Chief Elvin Barren. "You close your eyes each night when you fall asleep, praying to survive the challenges we know you will meet. Your oath is very sacred, you are honorable and true."

In January of 1991 at the age of 25, Officer James McMahon was on Telegraph Road near what is now known as I-696 setting road flares, when an intoxicated driver hit him while he was out of his car, killing him.

"Today is about reflecting, reminiscing, and recalling the life and the memory of these two brave officers," said Allen. "Because when we honor them, it brings us together with the family to reassure them that their loved ones will never be forgotten. And as a community, it unites us as we become partners in this journey called policing."