Iowa Honors Fallen Officers Kevin Cram and Phoukham Tran

The Iowa Peace Officer Memorial ceremony honored two fallen police officers, Kevin M. Cram and Phoukham Tran, who died in the line of duty. The ceremony added their names to the memorial, paying tribute to their ultimate sacrifice while serving the state of Iowa.

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Nitish Verma
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Iowa Honors Fallen Officers Kevin Cram and Phoukham Tran

Iowa Honors Fallen Officers Kevin Cram and Phoukham Tran

On Friday, the Iowa Peace Officer Memorial ceremony paid tribute to two fallen police officers, Kevin M. Cram and Phoukham Tran, who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving the state of Iowa. Governor Kim Reynolds, Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens, and law enforcement partners gathered at the state capitol grounds to honor the officers and add their names to the memorial.

Officer Kevin M. Cram, 33, was serving an arrest warrant in Algona on September 13, 2023, when he was fatally shot by the suspect. "On that fateful day, Officer Cram was serving a routine arrest warrant when the suspect brandished a concealed weapon and without warning fired upon him," said Commissioner Bayens. Cram, a 10-year law enforcement veteran, had been with the Algona Police Department since 2015. He is survived by his wife, Lara, and three sons.

Why this matters: The sacrifices of fallen officers like Kevin Cram and Phoukham Tran serve as a poignant reminder of the risks and dangers that law enforcement personnel face daily, highlighting the need for continued support and appreciation for their service. Moreover, their stories underscore the importance of addressing the root causes of crime and promoting community safety to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future.

Officer Phoukham Tran, a 30-year veteran of the Des Moines Police Department, was struck by a drunk driver on August 19, 2011, while directing traffic at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. He suffered critical head and internal injuries and fought for his life for a month. Despite his resilience, Tran medically retired from the police department and passed away on November 2, 2023, due to injuries sustained from the crash 12 years prior. "He was violently struck by a drunk driver,"said Bayens. "The critical injuries he suffered to his head and internal organs forever changed his life. "Officer Tran is survived by his wife, Chalouaiphone, two sons, six siblings, and cherished grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

The ceremony, attended by hundreds of law enforcement officers, included a 21-gun salute, taps, and a rendition of Amazing Grace by a group of bagpipers and drummers. "Today's ceremony is an intentional act of remembrance," said Commissioner Bayens. "It is a time to reflect upon the 198 names inscribed upon these walls. It is a time to honor all those who selflessly gave their lives protecting yours."

Governor Reynolds expressed her gratitude to the fallen officers and their families. "Thanks to their heroism, we have the luxury of not wondering who will protect us and have the confidence to go about our daily lives without fear,"she said. Theceremonyserved as a stark reminder of the sacrifices made by those who wear the badge and the families who support them. As the names of Officers Cram and Tran were added to the memorial, their legacies of service and dedication will forever be remembered by the people of Iowa.