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Deputy John Durm remembered as an ‘unsung hero’ of law enforcement at graveside service

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Deputy John Durm was honored with a somber graveside service where he was remembered as an “unsung hero” of law enforcement.

Ron Barnes, the chair of the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation, says law enforcement that work with the incarcerated often go unnoticed because they are hidden away behind the walls of the prisons and jails they staff.

“You’re not in the public’s eye. You’re kind of an unsung hero behind the walls so you go to work every day, you raise your family, you keep them safe, you keep the inmates away from the public, you keep people safe,” Barnes said. “That’s what I’m looking at as far as unsung heroes.”

Barnes says the group was formed in order to provide support to anyone working in corrections so their families are not forgotten.

“It’s an honor to be here. It really is to support the Durham family. I met them last night and I had a chance to talk to his mother and the son and you know it’s just a great family and it’s really unfortunate what happened,” Barnes said. “Here’s a gentleman that worked 38 years in the department. He was 61 years old. He was probably looking forward to retiring and here in a moment an inmate takes his life.”

Barnes notes that these corrections officers and sheriff’s deputies are often working with convicted violent offenders or those accused of a crime and this makes the job very dangerous.

“They really protect the public and we don’t get the recognition that the police officers and firefighters and those folks that’s are out there in the public get,” Barnes said.” But it’s just as important and dangerous a job.”

Every June, the foundation has an annual memorial event to officers who lost their lives in the line of duty called Project 2000.