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Donations needed for expansion at Police Memorial Park, honoring fallen officers

Expansion is sought for Police Memorial Park in the northwest Las Vegas valley. (Scott Kost/KSNV)

They paid the ultimate sacrifice, and for years, the community has honored their service.

But now, an important section of Police Memorial Park is out of room -- a walkway where fallen officers are recognized individually.

The garden path is dedicated to heroes and their stories.

"It's a place where they can share with other family members, share with other friends," said Stan Olsen.

Tucked in the back of Police Memorial Park in northwest Las Vegas, you'll find 38 rocks with 38 names. All of officers from various departments all over Southern Nevada, killed in the line of duty.

At the end of one row: 'Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo, gunned down as they ate lunch: June 8, 2014.'

"When officers Beck and Soldo were killed we had to work with the city and convince them how important it was to keep them together by having them take out some shrubs and bushes at the far end," said Olsen.

Olsen, a retired lieutenant with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, is with the Southern Nevada Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit now facing a difficult task.

"We have run out of room, we have run out of room," said Olsen.

The path is full and Olsen knows all too well, more names will need to be added in the future.

The foundation is now hoping to raise $28,000 for expansion. One fundraiser is selling memorial badges.

"Unfortunately, there's been a lot of officers killed in the line of duty over the last few years and so our growth here was unexpected," said Olsen.

And so was the tragedy of Oct. 1 when 58 people were killed when a gunman opened fire on concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip.

LVMPD Officer Charleston Hartfield was shot and killed while helping others. Along the memorial path, there is no room yet for his stone.

"There is not. There is not so we have to work on this expansion before we can put in a memorial tree and rock for Officer Hartfield," said Olsen.

The plan is to have the path break off and head back in another direction. Initial costs include irrigation, lighting, and some concrete work. The goal is to have the expansion finished by May.

Meanwhile, some of the memorial rocks have faded over time and the foundation would like to fix those too, even as long-forgotten officers are added to the walkway.

"Through history, we have found other names. Last May, we found four additional names that were lost in time," said Olsen. "It's basically planning for a very sad future."

It's a place for quiet reflection that quickly outgrew its humble beginnings.

The foundation is in the process of setting up a website. In the meantime, if you would like to help, there is a P.O. Box for the nonprofit:

Southern Nevada Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation
P.O. Box 777218
Henderson, NV 89077-7218

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