Peru - On Friday, November 2, 2018, Indiana State Representative Bill Friend, Indiana State Police personnel, and local emergency workers joined the family and friends of fallen Indiana State Trooper Robert Lather for a memorial mile sign dedication ceremony, held at the Indiana State Police Peru Post.
On U.S. 31, from mile marker 174 to mile marker 175, will forever be known as the Trooper Robert Lather Memorial Mile. The renaming of the road was due to the efforts of Indiana State Representative Bill Friend who authored, along with Representatives Michael Karickhoff and Karlee Macer, House Concurrent Resolution 44 urging the Indiana Department of Transportation to rename U.S. 31, from the 174 mile marker to the 175 mile marker, the Trooper Robert Lather Memorial Mile. The resolution was sponsored by State Senator Randy Head. Representative Friend read the resolution at the ceremony honoring Trooper Lather’s ultimate sacrifice while serving the citizens of Indiana. Trooper Lather’s former wife, Teresa, their two children, Rob and Breanne, along with other family members were in attendance. They thanked the law enforcement community, Representative Friend, and the Indiana Department of Transportation for making sure Trooper Lather’s sacrifice will not be forgotten.
Trooper Robert Lather II, an Indianapolis native, died in the line of duty on July 6, 1982, when he responded to a call for assistance from a Howard County sheriff's deputy who was in pursuit of a vehicle traveling in excess of 95 miles per hour. While attempting to slow the fleeing vehicle, Trooper Lather pulled in front of the car and was killed when the speeding vehicle ran into his police car. It was later determined, the driver of the speeding vehicle was intoxicated.
Trooper Lather was the 29th Indiana State Trooper to die in the line of duty. He was the second trooper, working from the Indiana State Police Peru Post, to die in the line of duty. He was preceded by Sergeant Glen R. Hosier who died April 26, 1971, of a gunshot wound he received while leading officers up the staircase of a Miami County home. He was attempting to arrest a murder suspect.
More recently, Master Trooper Detective David E. Rich died July 5, 2007, of a gunshot wound he received when a motorist he stopped to assist opened fired on him as he approached a disabled vehicle on U.S. 24 in Wabash County. Trooper Daniel R. Barrett died January 27, 2008, while attempting to catch a speeding vehicle on U.S. 31 in northern Fulton County. His police car left the roadway and struck a tree, killing the trooper instantly.
Trooper Lather served with the Indiana State Police Department for almost eight years.