LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The faces around Southeast Christian Church Monday afternoon said it all, another stab to their hearts.
“This is another difficult loss to us, but it pales in comparison to the loss felt by her family,” LMPD Chief Steve Conrad said.
Conrad read Detective Deidre Mengedoht's own words from a paper she wrote while becoming an officer.
"On becoming a mother I was immediately more aware that life indeed has a purpose that can't be taken for granted," he read.
In the paper, she said she loved people and wanted to protect them and serve. That was a sentiment echoed by the three thousand officers in that room, the reason why soo many risk their own lives for others.
"I pray that you would protect them as they are giving their lives to protect us," Southeast Christian Church Pastor, Greg Allen said during the service.
Mengedoht is one of 148 police officers across the nation killed in the line of duty in 2018, 52 of them by gunfire, 26 of them because of a crash.
Just three weeks ago, Sgt. Ben Bertram of Charlestown Police was killed during a chase.
The risk of the job prompted Allen to ask first responders to stand as a tribute to their bravery and sacrifice. It was a sacrifice that cost Mengedoht the ultimate price.
"She hoped that she would live up to her potential in this department," Conrad said. "I'm here to say she did well more than that. She far exceeded her potential in this department and gave more than any officer should ever have to give."
Mengedoht is the sixth loss for LMPD in the last two years, as five other officers have recently died:
Jason Schweitzer, October 29, 2016.
Nick Rodman, killed in the line of duty, March 29th, 2017
Paul Oliver, December 20, 2017
Steve Wise, May 26th, 2018
Jon Lesher, October 21, 2018
If you would like to learn more about the officers who died in 2018, follow this link.