Service and sacrifice of MPD Lt. Michael Etchison, Sr., remembered by laying of wreath at his grave

On Oct. 11, 1977, Michael Etchison, Sr., 26, a lieutenant in the City of Monroe Police Department, lost his life in the line of duty on the streets of Monroe. His death made him the first, and to date only, police officer to be killed on duty in service to the citizens of Monroe. Etchison left behind a wife and son. At the time of his death, Etchison was a 5-year veteran of MPD.

Photo credit: Monroe Police Department

Etchison was in a high speed pursuit and 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.

Forty Five years later, on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022, in honor of Etchison’s service and sacrifice, Monroe Mayor John Howard, Police Chief R.V. Watts and senior members of Monroe Police Department met with members of his family to place a wreath on his grave.

Photo gallery below of the wreath placing ceremony courtesy of Monroe Police Department

There is an exhibit at the Monroe Museum “Honoring the Life and Sacrifice of Lt. Michael Etchison, Sr.”

Robbie Vaughn and other members of Lt. Michael Etchison’s family were on hand Feb. 10, 2018 for the opening of the exhibit at the Monroe Museum honoring his service and sacrifice. Photo credit Sharon Swanepoel

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  or by clicking on the Youtube video below. 

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