Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Auxiliary Policeman William Graves

Sparta Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Thursday, December 9, 1976

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Reflections for Auxiliary Policeman William Graves

On the 40th anniversary of his death they unveiled a memorial for him in front of Sparta city Hall/ precinct.


August 11, 2019

Officer Graves's story was read in Richton Park Police Department's roll call on 12-3-17 to remember and honor him.

Sgt. James Galvan
Richton Park Police

December 3, 2017

Officer William Graves Memorial Service
Forty years ago, today, Auxiliary Policeman William Graves lost his life in Percy IL, helping those he cared for. Officer Graves did not have to be there that day, he was not on duty, he was not called to the scene, but was in the area working as a radio repairman and heard about the dangerous situation that was taking place. He arrived to a scene that was quickly deteriorating and the danger was mounting. Officer Graves did not retreat, even though two other Officers had been wounded by gunfire. He stayed hoping to assist in the conclusion of the situation. Officer Graves was hit by a bullet that passed through the arm of Steeleville Officer Claude Deckard. Officer Graves has been described to me as a man that was always looking out for others. He believed in helping others and that Officers should always back each other up. He was also well known to be a good friend to many, and someone you could count on anytime you needed help. It was this character that lead Officer Graves to Percy that day. He heard the call go out for help and like always responded to the call.
As we reflect back today on the events of that day long ago, we can’t help but think about Officer Graves losing his life and the pain that his friends and family have gone though over the years. However, I urge us to remember that his sacrifice that day was not in vain. Officer Graves and the other Officers that day stood in the path of a violent man intent on hurting others. Their actions stopped this man from hurting the public, the ones they had sworn to protect. They stood in the face of evil and did their duty that day with bravery and courage. For it has been said, Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. For that is just what Officer Graves did that very day.
Even though so much time has passed since that fateful day, we must understand that Officer Graves dedication, love, and determination lives on today in the Officers that continue to put their lives on the line to protect the public. His memorial stands here today as a testament of his life and bravery, encouraging others to stand up against those that would cause harm, and to keep our communities safe. Thank you, Officer Graves, for standing up for not just Sparta but for all of Randolph County.
Today all these years later we must remember the sacrifice Officer Graves made that day. We must remember his dedication to protecting others, and his dedication to his fellow Officers. We must remember those that loved him and the pain that they have endured as a result of this event. We gather here today to let you know that we remember, and that your memory is more than the monument here today, but one that will be carried on, in each Officer in Randolph County. Thank you, Officer Graves for standing up and facing the challenge and most of all for being willing to give all, that we may live safe and secure.

Asst. Chief of Police Jeremy Kempfer
Sparta Police Department

December 9, 2016

Rest in Peace, Auxiliary Policeman Graves. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

January 29, 2013

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 35th 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.

I pray for solace for all those who love and miss you for I know both the pain and pride are forever.

Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya
mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, PPD, eow 4/24/05

December 10, 2011

I wish i could 've met you> I LOVE YOU

william dean graves

May 29, 2009

Officer Graves your work on this Earth as we know it is done. You are in God's Hands now brother. May you rest in peace

SGT. Daryl Brewer
Clarksville Police Dept. Clarksville, Tennessee

May 25, 2008

You are remembered today and thank you Sir for your service

manchester, nh

December 5, 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

Auxiliary Policeman Graves, today marks the 30th anniversary of your murder. Auxiliary cops are some of the least appreciated people in law enforcement and even though you probably didn’t have a real obligation to jump into the fray, you did. That took guts and I admire you for it. I also mourn your passing, even though I never met you. We’re all family. As a former Auxiliary myself, I salute you as well.

God Bless and may you continue to Rest in Peace, Brother.

Ptl. Jim Leahy, Jr.
Harvard University Police Dept.

December 9, 2006

You were a great partner when we worked for Sparta PD. But better yet, you were my truest and best friend.
Maybe you saved my life because you gave yours. I was making my way around the scene one way, while a state trooper went the other way. Our plan was to stop the shootings.
But I was stopped by your lying on the cold parking lot. I stayed with you until help arrived.
Who knows? Maybe it was providence I not got to the suspect's site.
Rest easy, your watch is done. Save me a spot in Heaven so we can relive old war stories.

Deputy Sheriff Larry McGuire (Retired)
Randolph County, IL

November 3, 2005

grandpa backup is coming!!

William Dean Graves

October 26, 2005

you can't take the job out of your heart of a real cop!!

Son-Richard Graves

April 10, 2004

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