After a year of fundraising, construction is now under way on a memorial garden honoring the first police officer slain in the line of duty in Kalamazoo, Mich. The Eric Zapata Community Memorial is being built on the Kalamazoo Mall in an effort whose leadership includes the $422 million Kellogg Community Federal Credit Union. Zapata was a 10-year department veteran and a father of three when he was gunned down while responding to a shots fired call on April 18, 2011.
“We have been raising funds for a year now and are very excited to see the work getting under way on the memorial garden,” said KCFCU’s senior marketing manager, Susan Balbaugh. The bronze bust, which will stand in the middle of the garden, was completed a few months ago by artist Brent Harris of the Alchemist Foundry. Unveiling of the completed memorial is expected in mid-June.