The entire KCPD family and I send our deepest condolences to the family, friends and coworkers of Officer Jeff Taylor of the Riverside, Missouri, Police Department. Officer Taylor had volunteered to assist in tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo., when he was struck by lightning on May 23 near the operation’s command post. He passed away today at age 31 in Springfield, Mo.
This is tragic in so many ways. To lose any officer in the line of duty is crushing, but to lose one who selflessly volunteered to assist in a disaster 150 miles away is devastating. Officer Taylor is the only emergency responder to pass away as a result of the May 22 Joplin tornado and is the first officer ever to die in the line of duty with the Riverside Police Department.
As Riverside Mayor Kathy Rose said, “He died upholding a tradition of our community and many communities like ours to serve and protect, and to help neighbors in need.”
I think of our own officers who tirelessly have been working in Joplin and am sobered by the fact it could have been any one of them. I am thankful every day for their safety.
The Kansas City Police Department enjoys excellent partnerships with our neighboring law enforcement agencies, including Riverside. They always are eager to assist us, and vice versa. Several of our officers knew and worked with Jeff, and they are terribly saddened by his loss. We will assist our police brothers and sisters in Riverside in any way we can during this difficult time.
If you would like to support Officer Taylor’s loved ones at this time, you can send a card or message to:
City of Riverside Police Department
2990 NW Vivion Road
Riverside, MO 64150
I also encourage you to donate to a fund set up in honor of Officer Taylor to assist his family with expenses:
Taylor Benefit Account
K.C. Police Credit Union
2800 E. 14th Street
Kansas City, MO 64127