Fallen officer's memorial falls into disrepair on the city's east side

A memorial built in memory of fallen Indianapolis police officer Matt Faber has not been maintained. The plaque has been stolen , and no one is taking responsibility for it.


A memorial erected to honor a fallen Indianapolis police officer is in disrepair, and no one is taking responsibility for what is left of it.

The memorial honors fallen officer Matt Faber, who died in the line of duty in 1988. Faber died at the age of 24.

Ten years after his death, a memorial garden was planted in his honor with a plaque beside it just off the intersection of State and Washington Streets on the east side of Indianapolis near where he worked.

"As officers, we never forget. It certainly is very important to have these memorials around so that the public doesn't forget either," said Officer Catherine Cummings, an IMPD spokesperson.

A drawing inside the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police office reveals what the memorial once was. The metal plaque has been missing for at least a year, and the stand once holding it in place lies rotted on the ground.

"The place itself, the plot, is a repository for a large amount of trash," said Bill Owensby, President of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police.

He said this is not the way to remember an officer who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Back in 1988, Faber was shot in the back with a shotgun after he attempted to arrest a homeowner. He was originally called to the scene because of an animal complaint.

"I'm actually ashamed to say that's one of our people," said Ownesby.

The Shepherd Community Center, a faith-based, inner-city ministry, spearheaded the effort for the memorial back in 1998. The executive director said they recruited nearby businesses and city officials who replaced a troublesome alley with the memorial.

"In the alley they would just drive through and do drug deals so we said we need to do something," said Jay Height, Executive Director of the Shepherd Community Center.

Height also said when they relocated five years ago, they passed the maintenance responsibilities onto the owner of the Speedway gas station. The plot sits between the Speedway and a Family Dollar store.

Managers at the Speedway Wednesday afternoon said they knew nothing about the memorial that sits just feet away from the convenience store.

"You don't want to do this job day in and day out and think people are going to forget me if I gave the ultimate scarifice, and we dropped the ball on that," said Owensby.

Owensby said they are considering erecting a memorial to honor officer Faber outside their offices, but no plans are currently in the works.

Height said if they were approached about helping out they would do what they could.

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