Community Can Wear T-Shirts To Remember Topeka's Fallen Officers

By: Sarah Plake, Ariana Cohen Email
By: Sarah Plake, Ariana Cohen Email

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- As the investigation continues, support continues to pour in for the families of fallen officers Gogian and Atherly.

There is another way to memorialize their work for the community.

People all over Topeka, Lawrence, Kansas City and even West Virginia are wearing a memorial dedicated to the two fallen officers, a constant reminder of the community's support.

"Fallen but never forgotten," the words that symbolize the community's outreach after the tragedy, are printed across more than one thousand t-shirts made to remember Corporal David Gogian and Officer Jeff Atherly.

Ed Ramirez, owner of Embroidery Plus, received a phone call the night of a candlelight vigil from Michelle Barnes, the shift supervisor at the 911 Dispatch Center, asking for ten shirts.

"I told her it's not a problem," Ramirez said. "I said 'come on down, bring some ideas or something and we can put it together.'"

Ramirez and Barnes got to work and in less than three hours, came up with a design.

"It kind of pushed back some of the other jobs we were supposed to get done, but we got everything done," Ramirez said. He and his son mostly worked on the shirts.

The front of the shirt bears the symbol of the Topeka Police Department, and on the back, angel wings with Gogian and Atherly's names below.

Barnes said after she wore the shirt at the vigil, she was inundated with requests. She then ordered 550 more. The Fraternal Order of Police placed an order too, totalling more than one thousand shirts to be made by Saturday's funeral.

Ramirez and his team made sure those were ready too.

"That was over 1,100 prints to do that day. And being a Friday, everybody's supposed to get off at 5 o'clock, and we were still here at six and probably a little after six," Ramirez said. "It's been a lot of work and according to her it's not done."

After the candlelight vigil, more and more shirts were made over the course of five days, raising more than $6,000, with $5 from every shirt going to the officers' families.

"Embroidery Plus definitely feels honored to help out," Ramirez added. "It's the least we can do. You know, make sure they get their orders filled in time so she can get them out to the people that want them.

There's not only t-shirts. Crew neck sweatshirts, hoodies and long sleeve shirts are available. The cost ranges from $16.50 to $33, depending on the size and style.

Barnes said she's placing orders twice a week.

To order a shirt, email Barnes at michelle.barnes@snco.us, or stop by the police credit union and fill out an order form.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email: feedback@wibw.com
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 184987031