Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Patrolman Brian Charles Melton

Des Moines Police Department, Iowa

End of Watch Thursday, April 21, 1977

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Patrolman Brian Charles Melton

I was there that day when Brian met his tragic fate. I know he faced it head on with courage and honor for the job he loved and I believe, placed on this earth to do! I met him at the gas station he stopped at regularly in his area where I was working after I graduated from high school and talked with him about the DMPD. I was waiting to apply with the Iowa State Patrol, but Brian said that I should consider joining the Cadet program at DMPD until I was 21 and then decide which way to go. He loved what he was doing, very proud at what he had accomplished, so I applied and was hired.
Brian and I kept in touch, and I rode with him several times on his watch and I could tell he was a good, solid, fair policeman and willing to mentor a green cadet. We became good friends.
After I decided to stay with the DMPD, I rode with him again a time or two during my probation time when my FTO was off. I completed my probation and had my own area. We would talk after roll call a bit about me experiencing what Brian was so proud of when he would stop and talk at the gas station! Our areas were far apart so we hadn’t talked for quite awhile, but on the day of April 21, I was assigned an area close to his and a radio call from him saying, let’s meet. We met, thinking he had some information to share, but he just smiled and said he just wanted to see how I was doing on the job! He was like that always a people person, wondering if he could help. We talked for a short time and went on with our shift. He had stopped a car going back to his area, called for backup and received it quickly, so I started that way when I was free to see if I could help, but soon after I heard the call!
I was very saddened for years after the loss of Brian, but I will never forget his mentorship and guidance. The pain of that day, lessened over the years, but comes back to me from time to time like it was yesterday, but I am glad to say it’s not the sights of the scene I remember as much anymore, but what Brian and I had experienced up until that point in time!
I have thought of Brian every year in April since 1977 and have always been proud to have known such a good soul and fellow police brother.
I am so very blessed to have known him and was able to call him a Friend!

Dan Wesenberg
DMPD #589

May 2, 2024

God rest his soul.

Sgt. Robert A. Henne
Jersey City PD/Ret.

December 8, 2023

I was in high school at Des Moines Roosevelt in 1976. I took at law enforcement class at Des Moines tech. I rode with him for a shift during my senior high school year as part of the class. I still remember him after 40 years +. I continue to pray for his family.

Ray Severson

July 24, 2023

Terrible travesty of justice Patrolman Melton. Rest in peace and thank you for serving Des Moines with honor and savvy.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

July 18, 2018

Brian was an outstanding Police Officer. I worked with him first as an auxiliary Police Officer and then partnered with him two days a week once I became DMPD.

In March of 1977 Brian helped me move out of my house so that I could attend my Military Police Basic Course at Ft. McClellan, AL. I returned from that course to attend Brian's funeral. I celebrate Brian's EOW each year on 21 April.

My son who is a Federal Agent was named for Brian Melton and Dennis Hill (DMPD EOW 28 Aug 77).

I have been working in Washington, DC for past five years and have visited the National Law Enforcement Memorial multiple times to visit with Brian and Dennis. I also volunteer at the Memorial during Police week.

Hopefully Karin and their children have excelled in life following this senseless tragedy.

Brian Melton rest in peace - you are not forgotten. Your friend and partner, Jim Hamilton.

LTC (R) James D. Hamilton
Former SPO Des Moines Police Dept (#588)

March 26, 2016

I remember Brian Melton. I went to DMACC classes with him. He was a dedicated officer. A father, husband, son, and friend. I have thought about him numerous times. He was a volunteer firefighter in the community he lived in. I have prayed for your family. Thank you for your service.

Joe Crook

March 13, 2016

I have known Brian since I was "6" years old. He was the son in law of my parents best friends. I loved Karin, and Brian. I rembered when they got married, and when both their children were born. Brian was my hero as a little girl! He was like a big brother. He was so good loving, and patient with me and my younger brother. I saw Brian for the last time Christmas of 1976. As he, and Karin were packing up the kids to go home his last words to me were "I'l see you Memorial Day Weekend Squirt!!" I never saw brian again!! I remember that morning as I was getting ready for school and Mom, and Dad were getting ready for work, and the phone rang, and Mom came down the hall crying, and I heard her tell my Dad that Dorothy's son in law Brian was killed in the line of duty!! My heart sank!!!! I walked to school in a daze!! Brian we've never forgotten you or how your killer got off scott free, and how that fateful day A wife lost her husband, and a 2-1/2 year old little girl lost her Daddy that she adored, and a 8 month old little boy lost a father he'd never remember. Dorothy never got over you Brian, and when she passed away from Lung Cancer a few years ago she said on her death bed that you were there to get her, and she passed peacefully. I will always love, and miss you Brian, and you'll always be like a big brother to me. Dorothy, Don and both my parents are now all in the glory land with you. Please tell them all hello, and give them my love. Until we are all together again..........

Laura (Willey) LeRoy

Laura (Willey) LeRoy
Very close family friend

November 1, 2015

Rest in Peace, Officer Melton. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

May 26, 2013

You will forever be in my memory!!!! I was just a 13 year old girl and I lived right across the street from where you were shot and killed. I saw them putting you into the back of the ambulance and I prayed so hard that you were ok. R.I.P. Officer Melton and Thank You for protecting our neighborhood and the whole city of Des Moines!!!

Laurie Springer

October 9, 2012

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 who was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered.

I pray for solace for all those that love and remember you for I know both the pain and pride are forever. Your family is in my heart's embrace today. Thanks to your friends for sharing their memories and devotion to you through their reflections.

I cannot help but think how terribly hurt and betrayed your family must have felt during the trial when the defense painted your killer as a victim and the jury bought it. Shameful!

Rest In Peace.

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

April 23, 2012

That court is a sham! Officer Melton and his partner were effecting lawful arrests of two drunks! How could that sorry court system allow such an acquittal? Officer Melton, thank you for your brave and courageous service and for upholding the laws of Des Moines and Iowa, even though the system turned their backs on you!! That lawyer will have to answer for that one day on his Judgement Day.

PSO CW Edwards
North Augusta Dept. of Public Safety (SC)

October 25, 2010

Another year has passed and you are still admired and respectfully remembered in the hearts and minds of so many. My thoughts and prayers are with your loved ones and friends on this anniversary of your EOW. You will never be forgotten.

James Sheppard
Father of Sgt. Jason L. Sheppard EOW 12/7/06

April 21, 2010

Officer Melton 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 27, 2008

"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

Officer Melton,

As the anniversary approaches to your fateful and tragic death.

I never got to meet you. But as a friends of several officers at the Des Moines Police Department. Not a day goes by they don't stop and remember you & the others that have fallen.

I hope you are resting comfortably with the Lord. May you continue your beat on the streets of Heaven and shine down on the ones patrolling the streets of Des Moines, Iowa.

Tonya Stephenson
Former Des Moines, Iowa Resident

February 24, 2005

Brian's death was the first I experienced personally, being at the scene and seeing how quickly a life can end was horrific. The Department and the town mourned the death of this young man for a long time. Brian was a happy go lucky kid who loved life and his job. The suspect was brought to justice and a SCOTT COUNTY, IOWA jury of his peers found him NOT GUILTY. The case was closed by ARREST.
Brian's badge number was 318

SPO William Trimble
Des Moines Police Department

May 24, 2004



December 14, 2003

It's been 26 yrs since your tragic death Officer Melton. Not a day goes by that the people of Des Moines stop to remember the tragedy that claimed one of their own. I didn't know you but I heard alot about your story through friends on the department that were rookies on that fateful night. My heart goes out to those that were there and administered CPR and tried to revive you until medics arrived to take over. my heart also goes out to those that lost a friend, co worker, and father. May you and another Des Moines officer Moody watch over the rest of the Des Moines Police Department, as they will not forget about you all up there. Rest in Blessed Peace and God Bless.

Tonya Stephenson
Former Des Moines Resident,

Officer Melton was killed in a tragic way. In a park in Des Moines, Iowa there is a park named for Officer Brian Melton. In this park there is a football field, track, playground equipment, and a picnic shelter building. This was done as a memorial for the tragic death of a Des Moines Police officer. The community where this park is enjoy having family gatherings, and other occasions.

I didn't know Officer Mlton but, I grew up listening to how he loved his job as a police officer and his family.

Tonya M. Stephenson
Seaford, Delaware

former Des Moines, Iowa resident

Tonya M. Stephenson

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of god. Matthew 5:9.

Des Moines Police Department

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