Two Washington law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty are remembered during National Peace Officers Memorial Day which falls annually on May 15th.
Washington City Marshal Aaron Bailey and Washington County Sheriff William Sweet were shot and killed on June 25, 1930 after arresting a man for stealing a car in Ottumwa. The men had spotted the stolen car and stopped it near the City of Washington. They arrested the driver and took him to the county courthouse. When Sheriff Sweet began to search the suspect, the man struck the officers three times with a .38 caliber revolver. The suspect fled the scene and remained at large for four years, before being shot and killed by the Chicago Police Department in Illinois. The man was suspected of several other murders and crimes. Bailey was 54 years old and Sweet was 59 years old at the time of their death. The City of Washington proclaimed June 25th last year as Marshal Aaron Bailey Day, and installed a plaque at city hall honoring his sacrifice.