Iowa Peace Officer Memorial

Link to POM photo and 2022 ceremony date

2022 Peace Officer Memorial Ceremony

We invite you to join us for the 2022 Peace Officer Memorial Ceremony when State of Iowa leadership, law enforcement partners and families will honor and pay tribute to fallen peace officers who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving. We stand steadfast in remembering the brave men and women of law enforcement who died in the line of duty protecting Iowans and their communities.

SPECIAL GUESTS: Governor Reynolds, Lt. Governor Adam Gregg, DPS Commissioner Stephan Bayens

Friday, May 6, 2022

10:00 a.m.

Peace Officer Memorial Site

Grounds East of Oran Pape State Office Building

215 East 7th Street, Des Moines, Iowa

(Rain Location State Capitol - 1st Floor Rotunda)


2022 Honorees

Photo of Trooper Ted Benda


On the evening of October 14th, 2021, Trooper Ted Benda was in route to assist a local law enforcement agency with the apprehension of a wanted subject in Clayton County. Trooper Benda was traveling down Highway 51 in rural Allamakee County.  At approximately 11:30 p.m., Trooper Benda encountered a deer on the roadway. Evasive action was taken where he lost control of his vehicle, rolling it several times. Trooper Benda was airlifted to Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin, where he died from his injuries six days later. Trooper Benda served the Department of Public Safety for 15 years.  He is survived by his wife and four children.


Photo of Sergeant Jim Smith


On April 9, 2021, Sergeant Jim Smith was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a subject who had assaulted and disarmed another law enforcement officer during a traffic stop near Grundy Center. The subject initially fled as officers attempted to stop him, but the subject stopped and confronted law enforcement and antagonized them to shoot him. The man then assaulted one of the officers and disarmed him after placing the officer in a chokehold. The subject was able to get back into his car and fled to his home.

Responding officers established a perimeter around the home and established an arrest team. When the arrest team entered the home, the man opened fire with a shotgun, striking Sergeant Smith. Other members of the team were able to remove Sergeant Smith from the home. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The subject shot at an Iowa State Patrol tactical team at about 11:50 p.m. The man was wounded by return fire, taken into custody, and charged with murder.

Sergeant Smith had served with the Iowa State Patrol for 27 years. He is survived by his wife and two children.




The Peace Officer Memorial is fronted by a stone which explains the artist's conception of the elements of the memorial. The stone reads: 


The three outer forms represent the three levels of law enforcement in Iowa. 

The equal spacing represents the equal sharing of responsibility.  

The circles represent the cooperation and fraternity between agencies and departments. 
The three gray paths to the center represent the agencies and departments uniting to serve, sacrifice, and mourn. 

The center pinnacle represents the service, dedication, and sacrifice shared by each peace officer.  

The top of each outer form represents the aim of each peace officer with the goal being just short of the ultimate act of giving one's life, which is represented by the top of the center pinnacle.

- Designed by C. Richard Webb


Wreath at the Iowa Peace Officer Memorial




The memorial stone also lists the committee members who planned and organized the development and dedication of the memorial. Those members include: the Honorable Terry E. Branstad, Governor of Iowa, the Honorable Lee Holt, State Senator, Adrian D. Anderson, Raymond K. Baker, Glenn F. Brockett, Cindy Hill-Collier, George S. Mills, Gene W. Shepard, and Connie A. White. 

Supplementing the Iowa Peace Officer Memorial are two plaques which are on display at the Iowa Department of Public Safety in the Oran Pape Office Building located at 215 East 7th Street, Des Moines, Iowa. One plaque recognizes each Iowa peace officer who has died in the line of duty, and the other recognizes Iowans who have died while engaged in law enforcement or closely-related functions, but who were not peace officers. 



Link to Honor Guard marching into ceremony


All submissions will be reviewed by the Iowa Peace Officer Memorial Committee, which is comprised of representatives from the Iowa State Sheriffs' and Deputies' Association, Iowa State Police Association, Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, and the Iowa Department of Public Safety to ensure all criteria for inclusion are met.



Nominations may be made by an Iowa law enforcement agency. Only officers whose deaths occur in a line-of-duty incident will be considered. 

Nominations must be made in writing and should include:    

1. Photograph of the victim officer (if a photo is not available, please submit the completed form).

2. Death certificate and/or coroner's report.

3. Initial police/incident report.

4. Copy of victim officer's sworn officer certificate.

5. Copies of news articles regarding of the incident/death.

All nominations must be submitted on this form provided on this site. CLICK HERE FOR NOMINATION FORM

Please submit nominations to:

Attention: Sergeant Alex Dinkla
Public Information Officer
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Office of the Commissioner
E-Mail: Peace Officer Memorial
Phone: 515.725.6189