Charles County Sher­iff ’s Of­fice hon­ors fallen he­roes

Na­tional Po­lice Week hon­ors those who lost their lives while on duty

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AN­DREW RICHARD­SON arichard­son@somd­

In com­mem­o­ra­tion of Na­tional Po­lice Week, the Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice is hon­or­ing six fallen he­roes who were killed or died in the line of duty: Cpl. Jamel Clagett, Sgt. Timothy C. Mi­nor, Sgt. Joseph E. Stine, Jr., Sgt. Fran­cis “Leo” Yates, Pa­trol­man First Class Den­nis L. Ri­ley, and Pa­trol­man Lawrence H. McPar­lin.

“Dur­ing this somber time we are re­minded of our call­ing as po­lice of­fi­cers to pro­tect and serve at any cost. This week we pause to re­mem­ber those who gave the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice in the pro­tec­tion of oth­ers,” said Sher­iff Troy Berry (D) in an an­nounce­ment. “… Our hearts are with their fam­i­lies as we honor their mem­ory this week.”

The agency suf­fered its most re­cent loss with the death of Clagett, a pa­trol of­fi­cer known for his con­spic­u­ous kind­ness. On Dec. 21, 2014, Clagett was killed in a sin­gle-ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dent on his way home af­ter work­ing a mid­night pa­trol shift. A Thomas Stone High School grad­u­ate, Clagett spent 10 years at the sher­iff’s of­fice and re­ceived nu­mer­ous let­ters of ap­pre­ci­a­tions, ac­com­mo­da­tions and awards, in­clud­ing a Gover­nor’s Ci­ta­tion for Out­stand­ing Ef­forts in Crime Preven­tion and Home Se­cu­rity.

“Jamel was a great po­lice­man who cared about his com­mu­nity and val­ued his fel­low work­ers. He was known for his kind­ness,” Berry said on the day of the ac­ci­dent. “In fact, his last act this morn­ing — af­ter work­ing an eight hour overnight shift — was buy­ing break­fast at a lo­cal restau­rant and drop­ping it off to our mid­night com­mu­ni­ca­tions staff, whom he con­sid­ered fam­ily.”

Clagett was sur­vived by his mother, two broth­ers, and a sis­ter.

Mi­nor, a 17-year vet­eran of the sher­iff’s of­fice, was killed on Feb. 12, 1996, when a van pulled in front of his po­lice mo­tor­cy­cle as he re­sponded to a call for ser­vice near Cobb Is­land.

“Through­out his ca­reer, Tim served with dis­tinc­tion,” reads his obit­u­ary. “Co-work­ers re­mem­ber him as a large, charis­matic man, who was quick to smile and slow to anger. At 6’ 4”, he tow­ered over the ma­jor­ity of oth­ers, but this gi­ant of a man was also as gen­tle as a lamb … He will be deeply missed by all who knew him and by the com­mu­nity for which he gave his life.”

Mi­nor was sur­vived by his wife, a son and a daugh­ter, who now works as a cor­rec­tions of­fi­cer at the Charles County De­ten­tion Cen­ter.

Stine’s watch ended on May 12, 1990, when he suf­fered a fa­tal heart at­tack af­ter ar­rest­ing a dis­or­derly sub­ject. Stine was sur­vived by his wife, two chil­dren and three step chil­dren.

Yates died of a heart at­tack as he left the Charles County Court­house on June 8, 1988. He was sur­vived his wife and four chil­dren.

Ri­ley, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps dur­ing the Viet­nam War, was killed in a crash at the in­ter­sec­tion of Route 228 and U.S. 301 in Wal­dorf. Ri­ley was stopped at a red light when a trac­tor-trailer skid­ded to a stop and over­turned onto his cruiser, killing him in­stantly. Ri­ley was sur­vived by his wife and four chil­dren.

McPar­lin was shot and killed by a man as he at­tempted to serve a wit­ness

sum­mons in Washington, D.C., in 1918. Un­known to McPar­lin, the man was wanted for mur­der in South Carolina. He is the first of­fi­cer to have died in the line of duty in the known his­tory of the Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice. For nearly a cen­tury, of­fi­cers re­counted the story of his sac­ri­fice, though there was lit­tle known about McPar­lin, not even a pho­to­graph to put a face to a name. How­ever, in 2012 the cousin of McPar­lin’s wife con­tacted the sher­iff’s of­fice and in­formed Lt. Ed­ward God­win, who un­of­fi­cially

served as the agency’s his­to­rian be­fore his re­tire­ment, of his fi­nal rest­ing place.

“It im­me­di­ately sparked my per­sonal in­ter­est and I be­came con­sumed to learn more about this man and his ser­vice to this fine or­ga­ni­za­tion,” God­win said in a 2013 press re­lease.

Over the next sev­eral months, God­win con­tin­ued to un­cover more in­for­ma­tion about the fallen of­fi­cer and even­tu­ally ob­tained pho­to­graphs of McPar­lin af­ter mail­ing about a dozen let­ters to pos­si­ble de­scen­dants dis­cov­ered through

his tire­less search.

It was learned that McPar­lin was sur­vived by his wife, daugh­ter, fa­ther, three broth­ers and two sis­ters. He is buried at Hart­land Cen­tral Ceme­tery in Hart­land, N.Y.

A de­tailed his­tor­i­cal ac­count of McPar­lin’s life, and in­for­ma­tion about the other of­fi­cers, can be found on the sher­iff’s of­fice web­site:­roes.


This week, the Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice is com­mem­o­rat­ing the lives of the six sworn of­fi­cers who died in the line of duty dur­ing Na­tional Po­lice Week.

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