Death of Evart's first police officer remembered with ceremony

EVART – Legislators and law enforcement members came together on Friday to recognize the 50th anniversary of the death of Evart’s first police officer.

Gathered at Guyton Park, community members and officers from the Evart Police Department, along with State Rep. Joel Johnson, R-Clare, and Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, stood together to commemorate the loss of Officer George Seman.

On June 13, 1966, Seman was called to a domestic dispute. A subject was taken into custody and was to be transported to the jail in Reed City. During the transport between Evart and Reed City, the subject attacked Seman, disarming him of his service weapon. Officer Seman was then shot and shoved out of the patrol vehicle. The 36-year-old later died from his injuries, leaving behind a wife and three children.

“As police officers, we know the risks involved in our chosen profession,” said Evart Police Officer Patrick McClure while speaking at the ceremony. “It’s a profession that the risks often outweigh the rewards. On any given day, on any random call, we know our lives could end or be forever changed due to a serious injury. Yet, we choose to serve and protect because that is our calling.”

Booher recalled the impact Seman’s death had on the community.

“It’s hard to believe 50 years have passed since the remarkable man lost his life in the line of duty,” Booher said.

Booher also spoke of working to memorialize Seman by sponsoring legislation in 2008 which dedicated a portion of U.S. 10 in Evart as the George Edward “Ted” Seman Memorial Highway. In 2009, the stretch of highway was officially dedicated to formally recognize all that Seman gave on behalf of the people of Evart, Booher said.

“Officer Seman is a shining example of what people look for in their police officers. Bravery, integrity, reliability,” Booher said. “His dedication to Evart and its residents will never be forgotten.”

Following Booher, Johnson talked about the legacy of Seman and how he has been honored.

“Officer Seman has been remembered much more than by just what we do here in Evart,” he said. “He has received the Police Medal of Honor, posthumously; it was given to his family. He’s remembered at the National Law Enforcement Officers memorial in Washington, D.C., and at the Michigan Fallen Heroes Memorial. We’ve shared Officer Seman’s memory with the whole country and I think that’s a great thing.”

To conclude the ceremony, the Evart Honor Guard, joined by members of the Barryton American Legion and the Evart Police Department, presented a 21 gun salute in honor of Seman. Taps was then played as the American flag was lowered to half-mast.