Four Fallen Officers Honored Friday

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The state of Iowa honored four officers who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving their community. The ceremony for fallen peace officers took place Friday morning, which was attended by Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Des Moines police officers Susan Farrell and Carlos Puente-Morales were two of those honored. They died March 26 in a head-on collision on Interstate 80 while transporting Tosha Hyatt.

They also honored Ames police Sgt. Howard James Snider, who died in June 2012, and Iowa Parole Board Field Agent Albert Paul, who died February 1938.

“Officer Farrell, Officer Puente-Morales, Sergeant Snider, Field Agent Paul and the others that died protecting us are heroes for protecting our lives, for something bigger than themselves,” said Jeff Ritzman, executive officer at the Department of Public Safety.

Branstad said all the officers served the citizens of Iowa well.

“The recent, terrible loss of two Des Moines police officers is a tragic, yet unimaginable reminder of the dangers that officers face every day, even when it may not seem that they are in harm’s way,” Branstad said.

The Governor's Office will release information next week on two initiatives to honor those officers.

One is a task force that will find ways to reduce impaired driving in Iowa and the other is a new award that will be handed out in honor of Officers Farrell and Puente-Morales.