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Walnut memorial personifies local police legend

Posted at 6:06 PM, Aug 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-02 19:18:14-04
Fallen Omaha Detective Kerrie Orozco is honored in her hometown of Walnut, Iowa.
 
A bridge over I-80 holds the local police legend’s name.   
 
The Pottawatamie County Board approved naming the bridge that carries Antique City Drive over I-80, now the Detective Kerrie Orozco Memorial Bridge – dedicated in her memory Tuesday morning.
 
Although Kerrie Orozco worked, lived and died in Omaha, Mayor Gene Larsen considers the Walnut native 'one of their own.'
 
"She was doing her job and (was) cut down,” Larson said. “She was out there fighting evil not unlike the other veterans from Walnut who went out and gave their lives."
 
Orozco's mom, Ellen Holtz, says it's heartwarming.
 
"I'm sure she's up there going 'mother, not again,’ so yeah, I’m very proud," Holtz said.
 
Along with the highway bridge dedication, longtime friends presented a memory stone to Orozco's mom
 
Jennifer Ploen graduated from Walnut High School with Orozco.
 
Ploen says her friend’s spirit lives in the kindness that people have towards children, and through community policing - - what Orozco was known for.
 
"She's in the strength of a woman pursuing her dreams,” Ploen said. She's in the giving spirit of a friend. She's in the loving bond between an adult and child. She's in the protective duty of a police officer."
 
The Pottawattamie County Community Foundation created a $500 "Kerrie Orozco Memorial Fund,” a scholarship that is expected to grow through donations and support for the late detective.