Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Deputy Sheriff George V. Darnell

Warren County Sheriff's Department, Illinois

End of Watch Monday, December 7, 1981

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Reflections for Deputy Sheriff George V. Darnell

A kind and thoughtful man . I was in highschool and needed a ride home after football practice . He took my home 10 mile out in the country . He made me laugh most of the way . He turned on his lights as he drove me up the lane . He really loved his job . Truly understood To serve and protect !!

James Bride

December 8, 2021

I was Birn and raised in Monmouth, Warren County, I was 13 when Deputy Darnell was killed. In 1989 I began my law enforcement career at the Warren County Sheriff's Dept. As a Deputy I drove by the location where Deputy Darnell was killed many times. At least 3 nights a week I was the only Deputy on for the entire County during the midnight shift. The thought of Deputy Darnell was always in the back of my mind during those midnight shifts alone.
I was able to complete a 30 yr career, moving on from Warren County. But Deputy Darnell's story and the Warren County Sheriff's Dept will always be the foundation of a successful career.

Officer William Switzer, Retired
Warren Co., Peoria Co S.O., Peoria Heights Police Dept

December 7, 2021

The highway was appropriately named after him, the site still an eerie reminder of the location at time of incident. Having read the report, and investigation which culminated in arrest, some good witness information and solid detective work. The murderer did 35 years and was released on 3 years parole. He lives comfortably in southern Illinois. The killing was heinous, and done with intent and rage to Deputy Darnell and the profession. RIP Deputy Darnell

Jack Baskett
Retired Investigator Il Secretary of State Police, former Deputy

December 7, 2021

Every time I pass this spot, I think of George.
And Gary.
And Bill
And so many others

ISP, DC I retired

December 7, 2018

Never forgotten...37 years Uncle George has been gone. A great man, husband, father, grandfather, and family man.

Melissa Graham
Great Niece

December 7, 2018

Deputy Darnell's story was read in Richton Park Police Department's roll call on 1-12-18 to remember and honor him.

Sgt. James Galvan
Richton Park Police (IL)

January 12, 2018

Deputy Darnell was a very close friend of my dad's he was devastated by the death of this fine man, Rest in Peace you are not forgotten.

Donna Loper

December 7, 2016

George was a good member of the community, a good father, a good husband, and a good friend and father figure to many in his neighborhood. George took his responsibility as a law enforcement officer very seriously. Yes, he knew how to joke around like the next guy. George always took the time from his day to remind kids what's right and wrong. He loved his kids and grandkids. He has been and always will be missed.

Family friend

December 7, 2015

MONMOUTH – State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville), Warren County and area law-enforcement officials, Illinois State Police and a large crowd of family members and friends of slain Warren County Sheriff's Deputy George Darnell came together Thursday for the dedication of the Deputy George V. Darnell Memorial Highway north of Monmouth.

"Today, we honor the service and sacrifice of a dedicated public servant: Deputy George Darnell. Even though he was killed 33 years ago, time does not diminish the impact of his sacrifice and the importance of his life," Sullivan said.

MemorialSign2This May, the Illinois Senate and House approved legislation, Senate Joint Resolution 48, dedicating a one-mile stretch of U.S. Route 67 in Warren County to the memory of Darnell, who was killed in the line of duty in 1981.

Warren County Sheriff Martin Edwards began the ceremony and introduced the speakers. When speaking of Deputy Darnell, Sheriff Edwards said, "He gave all that he had for this community".

Edwards, along with State Police District 14 Commander Capt. Robert Elliott, originally brought this case to Sullivan's attention. Both Edwards and Elliott testified before a Senate committee in support of the resolution in March.

Retired Sheriff Gary Higbee followed Edwards. Higbee was a colleague and close friend of Darnell. He vividly recounted the events surrounding Darnell's death and the subsequent investigation. "We miss him and my heart goes out to all of his family," Higbee added.

The sign that marks the memorial highway is six miles north of Monmouth on U.S. Route 67, very close to where Darnell was killed.

Monday, 11 August 2014 14:39

Communications Supervisor Carol Hunter
PD Excelsior Springs MO

August 21, 2014

Rest in Peace, Deputy Darnell. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

January 29, 2013

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 30th 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.

Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater, PPD, eow 4/24/05

December 7, 2011

Though I never knew him, he was part of my Law Enforcement family and I will mourn this deep loss the rest of my life. My heart aches with all the losses we have suffered, and continue to suffer, through the years. God is our only peace in such incidents & our only real comfort comes from Him. May His strength, comfort & peace continue to be the sustaining force in the lives of all who knew this beloved officer; and may it somehow help to know they do not grieve alone.

Vicki Hare, Telecommunicator
Salisbury NC PD

October 7, 2009

Thinking of you, your sacrifice, your family and all the wonderful people like you in downstate illinois that i met while at college in Macomb, now 35 years ago.

illinois citizen

March 15, 2008

You are remembered today and thank you Sir for your service

manchester, nh

December 4, 2007

"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

October 23, 2007

the Sheriff's words in Deputy Darnell's rememberance speak volumes. while my son was at WIU, everytime we drove by the site we wondered and remembered his sacrifice. we will not forget. we wish someone could post a picture of George to preserve his memory and complete the reflection.


January 22, 2007

GOD Speed, Brother!

Senior Officer D. W. Reichhardt
Waverly PD, Va.

December 7, 2006

Twenty five years ago, on December 7th, 1981, Deputy Sheriff George V. Darnell, Warren County Sheriff’s Office, was killed in the line of duty. A few of you may have known him, and a few of you may have never heard of him. I cannot tell you that much about him, other than he was a veteran law officer, a family man, and well liked within the community.

Other than this memo, I am afraid there is little else to observe this anniversary date. As time passes I guess a tragedy like this becomes a foot note in history and we go on. But being as it is near the 25th year since his passing, perhaps at least within the ranks we should all take a moment and reflect on his life, his sacrifice, and our own mortality.

None of us took this job expecting to die for it, but some do. It’s usually “the other guy” and it never happens “here”. Granted, in high risk calls we take greater precautions. But in reading through the old case file into his murder I am struck by how mundane and routine the call appeared to be from the onset. I doubt if any one of us would have handled it any differently. And it was that one time out of thousands when Deputy Darnell was “the other guy” and it happened “here”. He certainly did not ask for it, and he did not deserve it. But in a matter of seconds his life was taken, and as usual the reason was so senseless it defies logic.

When public servants lose their life in the line of duty, perhaps a building, road, or facility will be named in their honor to preserve their memory. But when the funeral parades are over, the flag has been presented, and the news fades, all the family is left with are memories and a gap in their lives which will never be filled, and unanswered questions. In time co-workers will quit calling or stopping by, and things will move on. Today, for just a few moments, I ask you to think about George Darnell. Honor him, and keep his memory alive. He was one of ours.

Go back to work. Utilize your training, experience, and instinct and stay alive. Do your job to the best of your ability and make yourself worthy of putting yourself in the same class as this man – a law enforcement officer.

Warren County Shreiff Martin Edwards

December 6, 2006

Thank you Sir, you are a true Hero.

Detective T. Henshaw
Bell Gardens Police Department

December 7, 2004

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