Give Now

Memorializing Officer Long

The Terre Haute Police Department is working to preserve the memory of Officer Brent Long, who was killed last summer while serving a warrant.

Wolfe with his statue of officer long

Photo: Mia Partlow/WFIU

The maquette is made of clay, and will be sent to Indianapolis to be cast in bronze.

The Terre Haute Police Department is working to preserve the memory of Officer Brent Long, who was killed last summer while serving a warrant.

The department is working with Terre Haute sculptor Bill Wolfe to create a life-size bronze statue of Long and his canine, Shadow, which survived the incident.

When making the sculpture, Wolfe focused on the man Long was, and what the statue would represent to people far into the future.

“He was a country boy just like me,” Wolfe says.

The Artist For The Job

Artist Bill Wolfe just moved in to the old Mace Lincoln Mercury showroom in downtown Terre Haute.

It’s apparent he’s not used to all the space, because he’s crammed most of his clay and bronze models into one corner, leaving the entire showroom floor empty.

“The studio I had there wasn’t enough room for someone who paints and does sculptures. It just wasn’t enough space…It’s been rough getting used to it,” Wolfe says.

He’s a humble, quiet person, but a prolific artist who loves to show off his work. Wolfe has several projects in the works—including a series of four murals for the Vigo Country courthouse and a fifteen-foot tall statue of Larry Bird.

But the work closest to completion is the memorial statue of Terre Haute police officer Brent Long and his dog, Shadow.

“It is an emotional thing, because we lost one of our officers that are hired to protect us, and it means a lot to me also, because my son is a police officer,” Wolfe says.

Sculpting A Memory

Creating this sculpture meant Wolfe had to think carefully about how to depict Long. He didn’t want the memorial to look like other bronze statues, which depict soldiers as battle heroes but give no hint as to who they were as people.

He wanted Long to appear as a heroic everyman. Someone you could relate to.

“You want him to have a hero’s stance. A hero’s stance I say, but I want to get that personal look too. He’s a little relaxed in his post. And the dog Shadow will be at attention,” he says.

Wolfe originally wanted to depict the dog looking up at Long to show their special bond, but Long’s wife nixed the idea, saying the respectful way to show the dog was at attention, the way he was trained.

Wolfe with an Officer Long bracelet

Photo: Mia Partlow/WFIU

The Terre Haute Police Department raised money for the statue with bracelets, stickers, and special events.

“He was a really good guy,” says Dan Armentrout, a friend of Long’s and also an officer with the Terre Haute police force. He spearheaded the effort to raise money for a memorial to Long.

His initial idea was to install a plaque, but that plan was scrapped when the police department raised enough money to commission the life-size statue. After working with Wolfe and Long’s wife Danielle throughout the process, Armentrout says it’s a good representation.

“He was down to earth, laid back, and a good police officer on the streets as well. He’s a very trustworthy and loyal friend, there’s not too many guys like him,” Armentrout says.

Armentrout has worked with Wolfe and Long’s wife Danielle throughout the process. Wolfe says he hopes Long’s memorial will stand the test of time.

“This is something that’s going to be around for a thousand years; you want to do a good job,” Wolfe says.

The statue of Long will eventually be installed on the grounds of the Terre Haute Police Station, but no date has been set.

Mia Partlow

Mia moved to Bloomington from Louisville, Kentucky in 2002. After completing her BA at Indiana University, she lived briefly in New Orleans, and then moved to NYC to get a master's in American Studies. Now settled in Bloomington, Mia loves working with area organizations in her role as a Corporate Development associate for WFIU and WTIU. She spends most of her free time sewing and trying to tire out her energetic dog.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media Arts & Music:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search Arts and Music

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media Arts & Music:

Recent Culture Stories

Arts & Culture Events RSS icon

More Events »Submit Your Event »

Arts & Music is on Twitter

Find Us on Facebook

This Week on Earth Eats

Immigrants Reshape Midwest Ag, Croissants, Salmon Mousseline

radishes with sea salt

Croissants from Muddy Fork's brand new bakery. Books about claiming appetite with Vivian Halloran. Pickled radishes and salmon mousseline with Daniel Orr.

Read more »

Earth Eats is a podcast, radio program and blog of the freshest news and recipes inspired by local food and sustainable agriculture.

More from Earth Eats »

This Week on Focus on Flowers

Dark Hues

coleus

I just can’t seem to get enough of these dark-colored plants in my garden.

Read more »

Focus on Flowers is a weekly program about flower gardening hosted by master gardener Moya Andews.

More from Focus on Flowers »