On Nov. 6, 2015, Madison County was gripped with sorrow as the news that one of Richmond Police Department’s promising young officers had died from injuries sustained in the line of duty.
Now, more than a year later, the memory of Senior Patrol Officer Daniel Ellis continues to inspire and empower others.
On Thursday, Ellis was honored during a special ceremony at the police department headquarters which now bears his name.
Ellis was chosen by Telmate, a California-based company that provides communications services to jails, prisons and law enforcement agencies, as the recipient of the company’s Fallen Heroes program.
The program honors the memory of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty by providing financial assistance to fallen officer organizations of dependents. Every month, nominees are presented to a committee and one individual or organization is selected.
Telmate donated an undisclosed amount Thursday to the Daniel Ellis Foundation Inc., a charitable organization founded by his widow, Katie Ellis.
Ellis said she was honored that Telmate had chosen to honor the memory of her husband and thanked the organization for the donation, which she said would go towards helping the citizens of Madison County.
Ellis said the foundation has accomplished much over the past year, a feat, she said, her husband would be proud of.
“My hope has been to keep his memory alive by continuing the legacy he started,” Ellis said. “I feel strongly that I have been able to overcome our tragic loss by creating positivity in my life by giving back to the community.”
Ellis said the foundation’s mission is to empower, inspire and educate the citizens of Madison County through various efforts.
In the past year, Ellis said the foundation has touched many lives by sending donations to the Special Olympics and Court Appointed Special Advocates.
This past December, the foundation helped spread joy to 20 middle and high school students by providing them with Christmas presents.
Ellis said the foundation has also worked closely with several of Madison County’s school resource centers by restocking much needed hygiene supplies.
With tears in her eyes, Ellis also recounted how the foundation has helped victims of fires and young widows and families that have lost their husbands and fathers.
“While no amount of money could ease the pain of this loss,” Ellis said, “(the foundation) has been able to alleviated the financial burden young widows face when they lose their spouses at such a young age.”
According to Ellis, the foundation has spent more than $10,000 in the last year helping various organizations and citizens in Madison County.
“I just wanted to help others in the community in the way that everyone has helped me,” Ellis said of staunch dedication to the foundation’s efforts.
Richmond Police Chief James Ebert said he has learned much of the young officer through his discussions with citizens and fellow law enforcement.
“Daniel Ellis represents all that is good in law enforcement today,” Ebert said. “His ideas about how policing should be conducted still echoes through these halls. When I’ve talked to citizens and members of this department, they have told me how kind and generous he was with his time and talents.”
Telmate Regional Representative Chuck Geveden said he was honored to make the donation to the Daniel Ellis Foundation and present a plaque to Katie Ellis and son Luke.
“It’s an award we don’t like to do,” Geveden said addressing the crowd gathered. “No one likes to be in this position, everyone wants our officers and members of law enforcement to go home safely to their families every night. It’s not a situation we want to come do, but we are proud to do it. We are proud to honor those like Officer Daniel Ellis who gave their lives to protect their citizens.”
Ellis died two days after being shot while trying to arrest an armed robbery suspect on Ballard Drive.
Despite the tragedy, Katie Ellis said she is proud that her husband’s legacy of kindness, courage and graciousness continues to this day.