June 9, 1995. Lt. Kevin Tieman remembers the evening vividly.
In his first year working in law enforcement, Tieman was a dispatcher for the Cass County Sheriff’s Office when a caller reported that a deputy had been involved in a vehicle crash.
Tieman would later learn that Deputy Kevin Mayse had been pursuing someone when his patrol Jeep skidded off the roadway and struck a tree on 171st Street, west of Holmes Road, in rural Belton.
“I got a 911 call and it was somebody reporting that there was an accident and a deputy was involved,” Tieman said. “I called the deputies on the radio, and he didn’t answer.”
The 34-year-old Mayse, who had been a deputy for three years, died four days later at a Kansas City hospital. The subject of the pursuit also left the roadway. He abandoned his car and fled, but was later caught by police.
As the 20th anniversary of Mayse’s death nears, Tieman wants to build a first-of-its-kind memorial to honor deputies who have died protecting Cass County citizens.
“We thought it would be appropriate and fitting to have a memorial to mark that occasion,” Tieman said.
In its history, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office has lost three deputies in the line of duty.
On Jan. 22, 1866, Deputy Sheriff James Copeland and Acting Sheriff James Holmes were shot and killed while attempting to arrest a man wanted for murder.
Tieman said the memorial would also be a place where tributes could be made to deputies who died of natural causes while working for the county.
The memorial would be located in front of the sheriff’s office at the Cass County Justice Center in Harrisonville.
It would be constructed in the shape of a sheriff’s star with a black mourning band passing through the center of the badge.
The star is to be built with brick pavers, and the black memorial band will serve as the walkway on and off the memorial.
The centerpiece will be a bronze “Call to Duty” statue, a sculpture of a man dressed in a present-day Cass County Sheriff’s Office uniform, taking a knee.
Tieman said that while the three deputies killed while on duty are honored at memorials in Jefferson City and Washington D.C., the proposed memorial would provide a place for them to be honored locally.
“There’s nothing here in the county,” Tieman said. “For me, I thought it was important for the deputies who have come to work here since that time (who) give the oath that we will lay down our line to protect the people in Cass County ... to honor, recognize those who have done that.”
To cover the $60,000 cost of the project, members of the Cass County Sheriff’s Office Auxiliary will be selling personalized, engraved bricks that will be included in the memorial. The auxiliary is a volunteer group of citizens who have completed the Cass County Sheriff’s Office Citizen’s Academy.
Bricks for the Cass County Sheriff’s Office memorial can be purchased by individuals, families, businesses or organizations, and can be engraved with a message, symbol or emblem. Images can be service organization seals, law enforcement or emergency services logos, or other patriotic symbols.
A 4x8 brick costs $100, and an 8x8 brick sells for $250.
To order a brick, call Lt. Kevin Tieman at 816-380-5200 Ext. 8615, email email@example.com, contact a member of the Cass County Sheriff’s Office Auxiliary or go to www.fundraisingbrick.com/online-orders.