University of the Cumberlands (UC) recently honored two Kentucky police officers who were killed in the line of duty.
Officer Jason Ellis of the Bardstown Police Department and Officer Daniel Ellis of the Richmond Police Department were honored with Legacy Awards during UC’s annual Excellence in Leadership Series. The awards were presented to the families of both officers by UC President Larry Cockrum and Shaquille O’Neal, the event’s keynote speaker.
“There is a higher power in the calling to serve as a police officer,” Cockrum said. “The calling of a police officer is to serve with courage that is greater than fear, to go without hesitation where others will not, to exude strength of body and mind, to protect others in times of critical decisions, and to wield confident leadership in the most extraordinary circumstances. We are humbled to honor the legacy of these two officers who lived with great courage and honor, and who made the ultimate sacrifice to serve and protect.”
As a member of the Bardstown Police Department, Officer Jason Ellis worked every day to ensure the safety and well-being of the community he swore to protect. On May 25, 2013, Jason was killed in an ambush on the Bluegrass Parkway while on duty. A 2003 graduate of Cumberlands, Jason played minor league baseball for a team affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds before joining the Bardstown Police Department in 2006 and later becoming the station’s K-9 Officer. When he wasn’t on patrol, Jason spent his time with his wife, Amy (Phillips) Ellis, and their two sons, Hunter and Parker. He also coached little league baseball and helped organize 5K runs with Amy to raise funds and awareness for downs syndrome.
“Jason’s integrity was probably second to none,” said former Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin. “He was the type who would always do the right thing when no one was looking. He was a great officer who treated people with respect.”
A graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, Officer Daniel Ellis joined the Richmond Police Department in 2008 with the intention of helping people and saving lives. On Nov. 6, 2015, he was killed in the line of duty while investigating a robbery. When Daniel first joined the Richmond Police Department, he served as a bike patrol officer and continued rising in the station’s ranks, later earning a promotion to detective that was set to begin in January 2016. Outside the force, Daniel spent his time with his wife, Katie, and their son, Luke. In the time since Daniel’s death, Katie has established a foundation in his name with the goal of inspiring, empowering, educating and assisting Madison County. The foundation offers scholarships and hosts the Daniel Ellis Memorial 5K.
“Without a doubt, Daniel made our community a better place,” said former Richmond Police Chief Larry Brock. “I think about Daniel every day. He’s the kind of officer you want to have, and he’s the kind of man that if I had a son that’s how I’d want him to be.”
Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, University of the Cumberlands is an institute of regional distinction offering quality undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and online degree programs. Learn more at ucumberlands.edu