On Oct. 11, 1977, Michael Etchison, Sr. a lieutenant in the City of Monroe Police Department, lost his life in the line of duty on the streets of Monroe. Etchison become the first, and to date only, police officer to be killed while on duty serving the citizens of Monroe. At the time, he was a 5-year veteran of MPD.
According to the video chronicling his life, Etchison was in a high speed pursuit on that fateful day in October when, at the end of the pursuit, he and two other officers were engaged in a gun battle with the suspect. The other two officers, Officer Mike Head and Deputy Bill Cody were wounded, but Etchison died instantly from his wounds. Head was able to shoot and kill the suspect. Etchison left behind a wife and son.
In honor of Black History Month, the Monroe Museum opened an exhibit “Honoring the Life and Sacrifice of Lt. Michael Etchison, Sr.” His widow, Robbie Vaughn, now remarried, and other family members and friends were on hand earlier this month for the opening of the exhibit.
Sponsored by the Monroe Police Department, it will remain as a feature at the front entrance of the museum until May. It also is part of the Bicentennial events to take place during the year. Public Safety Director Keith Glass was on hand to open the exhibit on Feb. 10, speaking of the honor he felt to be able to continue to pay tribute to Etchison’s service and sacrifice.
“The story that unfolds in the display is one that we have been trying to tell for over a decade now,” Glass said, going on to tell Etchison’s family that they are always in the thoughts of the community. “History is so important and Michael Etchison is a big part of Monroe’s history. We appreciate this recognition by the Monroe Museum. If you are not here today, please come out and see it. You need to know where your community was back in 1977 and where it is today.”
The Monroe Museum is located at 227 S. Broad Street in downtown Monroe. Click or tap on this link for more information and hours of operation on the Facebook Page.
You can also see the video “In the Line of Duty” about the incidents surrounding Lt. Etchison’s death by going to the museum website at http://monroegamuseum.org/michaeletchison/ or by clicking on the Youtube video below.