AUGUSTA — Someone stole a brass flag holder from the gravesite of an officer killed in the line of duty in 1884, city police said Wednesday.

Rufus Lishness is one of two Augusta police officers killed in the line of duty who are buried at Mount Hope Cemetery on Winthrop Street.

Sgt. Christian Behr, in a news release sent Wednesday, said a police search for the flag holder has proved unsuccessful, so the department is asking community members for help.

“If anyone has any information that may help us locate the flag holder, it would be very beneficial to our investigation,” Behr wrote. “Our fallen officers are dear to us and we are committed to protecting their memory.”

Behr has assembled a mini-museum containing artifacts of the department’s history.

The round brass plaque with the words “Maine Law Enforcement Officer Killed in the Line of Duty” is affixed to a rod that holds a flag.

Behr said each summer the flag holders with small State of Maine flags are placed on Lishness’ gravesite as well as the gravesite of Officer Selden Jones, who was killed in 1930.

Anyone with information about the missing flag holder can contact Officer Anthony Drouin at 626-2370 or [email protected]

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