Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Deputy Ira Darby Prater

Cannon County Sheriff's Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Monday, January 8, 1996

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Deputy Ira Darby Prater

I grew up on Frank Holt Rd and never knew about Deputy Prater. What a tragic loss for someone as young as he was. To his coworkers, friends, and family, Deputy Prater shall not be forgotten. May he rest in peace knowing that he made a difference.

Det. Jaime Layhew
Baltimore County Police

January 8, 2020

Rest in peace Deputy Prater.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

March 29, 2019

I think of you often, Darby. I think about you sitting behind me in fourth grade and how you made that year fun with your daring nature and ability to see the humor in anything. You were a great guy, Darby. May you rest in peace.

Kim Cantrell

September 1, 2012

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 16th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Your memory will always be honored and revered. I pray for aolace for all those who love and remember you for I know both the pain and pride are forever.

Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

January 8, 2012

Everyday I think of how great of a person a officer a brother a son and a uncle Darby was. This was a great loss to all of us. Darby was a brother to me. We served the Cannon County Sheriff's Department at the same and not only that but we went to the police academy at the same time.I will never forget him ordering pizza the first week we were there that was a big no no,but it was funny and we a laughted. Darby and I would race home to our parents house on Thursday afternoons it was a big deal to see who got there first because the academy food wasnt so good and we want a home cooked meal. Never in my career did I think I would lay one of my own to rest, but 14yrs 4mths and 5 days ago I did I laid my partner Darby to rest but never will he be for gotten. God Bless to his family and all other fallen officers.

Dana Miller

May 12, 2010

You have not been forgotten. Thinking of you on this day.

Bob Gordon
Father of Chicago Officer: Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

January 8, 2010

"The Badge"

He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.

He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.

Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.

He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.

His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.

He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.

And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.

But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.

Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.

Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.

So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.

In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.

Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

January 29, 2008


Pat Van Den Berghe, Manchester, NH
Neighbors for a Better Manchester, NH

January 2, 2008

May Our Lord bless you and your loved ones.

January 8, 2007

If this was the same young man I met and viewed when he was younger, he was a mess like many young people are. But this young man and Law Enforcement Officer is proof, that anyone can mature and change. Officer Darby, as we called him,is an example of why we must not ever give-up on anyone as long as there is a breath and heartbeat left in them. I (we) are proud of this young man and our prayers are for joy and peace of the Lord, in his families hearts always.Amen

Jimmie Lee King
Servant/Soldier For Christ

July 29, 2006

Darby, its been a little over 4 years ago when I got that call that you had been lost to us.  I still remember when you first started as an officer and your enthusiasm when you first got in the car with me on your first ride along.  I could see then that you were going to be a fine officer.  Your passing is a loss to all of us.

Barry Kidd
Knox County Sheriff's Dept.

Today is the 4th anniversary of the death of one of my officers while I was Sheriff. On January 8th 1996 Ira Darby Prater was patrolling a mountainous road in a community that was without electrical power. We had just had a fierce snow and ice storm the day before. His main concern was for the welfare of the residents. His last contact was with
our dispatcher telling her it was too slick to make it to the top and that he was going to try and make it back down the hill. The vehicle he was in stopped near the bank momentarily as it slid backward and he exited the vehicle. As he slipped down the bank the car came down behind him. His neck was broken and the coroner said he did not suffer. He was
a nice young man and was going to be a good cop.

Not only was I his Sheriff but I have spent 25 years as a Trooper and a city policeman. I had never had to deal with an officer under my command to die. I had seen and had other officer friends die in the line of duty, but never under my command. I thank you for the time and space to tell a little bit about Darby. It is Ironic what you think about on certain days of your life.


Bob Stoetzel
Former Sheriff Cannon County Tn.

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