Western Iowa Couple Creating Monuments to Honor First Responders

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IOWA  --  While many show their appreciation verbally and though donations, a western Iowa couple wants to encompass what it really means to serve as a first responder.

Ron and Susan Mahoney are spending $350,000 to show their support, according to KETV's Laurann Robinson. They're footing the bill to have four bronze statues created and placed along the plaza on West Broadway between Main and Pearl Streets in Council Bluffs.

"I want to drive by on Broadway and see families here with their children getting up on the granite and having their pictures taken with the statues," said Susan.

Their plan is to display a Council Bluffs police officer and his canine, a Council Bluffs firefighter saving a child, a Pottawattamie Deputy Sheriff, and an Iowa State Trooper.

"It's just a tremendous, tremendous outpouring of how much they actually care. And they're not alone, they're just in a position to do this," said Senior Trooper James Bullington of the Iowa State Patrol.

The local artist creating the statues says he spent time with the different departments scoping out what makes each unique, and came up with the idea to somehow incorporate the 911 call center, as well.

"It occurred to me that there was one group that we were leaving out is the 911 center. And they're the ones that really--it's almost like a web that connects all of these first responders together," said John Lajba.

The idea for the statues came two years prior, following the deaths of Omaha police offer and a Council Bluffs resident Kerrie Orozco in May 2015.

The project is set to be finished by the end of September.