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Dover Post
  • State law enforcement pause to remember fallen officers

  • In two separate ceremonies on Wednesday, the Delaware State Police and the Delaware law enforcement community as a whole held memorial services for officers who have lost their lives.
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  • In two separate ceremonies on Wednesday, the Delaware State Police and the Delaware law enforcement community as a whole held memorial services for officers who have lost their lives.
    The Delaware State Police’s Police Memorial Service was held at the Delaware State Police Training Academy. Gov. Jack Markell, Lt. Gov. Matt Denn, Delaware Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security Lewis D. Schiliro and State Police officials offered remarks before the names of the 23 state police officers who have lost their lives were read. A rose for each officer was placed on the Delaware State Police Memorial, which is inscribed with the names of the deceased. The ceremony was followed by musical tributes, a 21-gun salute and the placing of a wreath by Markell, Schiliro, Superintendent Col. Nathaniel McQueen Jr.  and Lt. Thomas Brackin of the Delaware State Police.
    These ceremonies are important because they send an important message, Markell said.
    “It’s a really important message that we send to the survivors of those who have fallen so they know we will never forget,” Markell said. “It’s important that we send a very clear message to the current law enforcement officials about how important we view their work and we recognize that they’re putting themselves in harm’s way for us.”
    The annual ceremony is a way of fulfilling a promise made to the families of fallen officers, said McQueen.
    “It’s important to pay homage to officers who have died in the line of duty,” McQueen said. “We have to honor their memories. Our promise to the survivors is that we’ll always honor the memories.”
     
    Service at Legislative Hall recognizes local officers
    The 42nd Annual Delaware Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service was held on the Legislative Mall at noon on Wednesday. Officers from law enforcement groups up and down the state gathered, along with the families of the fallen and legislators, to remember those who gave their lives. The Dover Police Department was out in force and played a large role in the ceremonies.
    “It’s a true honor to acknowledge the sacrifices that fallen officers have given, which is the ultimate sacrifice,” said City of Dover Police Chief Major Paul Bernat. “It’s also an honor to stand before all of the survivors. The families are ultimately the ones who gave up their loved ones who were serving the community that they protected.”
    During Wednesday’s ceremony outside Legislative Hall, Markell signed House Bill 158, under which the state will fund the healthcare coverage of dependent children of officers who have died in the line of duty after Aug. 20, 2009.  
    Page 2 of 2 - “We hope this will provide some level of comfort to our law enforcement officers, so that they know that, God forbid, if anything tragic happens to them the healthcare for their children will be taken care of,” Markell said.
    Ceremonies such as those held on Wednesday are all about celebrating the fraternity that is shared between members of the law enforcement community, said Sgt. Chris Hermance of the City of Dover Police Department.
    “It’s the brethren, the fraternity,” Hermance said. “We all have each other. There is a camaraderie and a common goal. You know that they’re there for you.”
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