Fallen of­fi­cers, re­tirees rec­og­nized at cer­e­mony

Of­fi­cer killed 40 years ago high­lighted dur­ing event

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By CERONE WHITE cwhite@somd­news.com

From across Charles County and other neigh­bor­ing coun­ties, fam­ily mem­bers and well-wish­ers made their way to the Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice (CCSO) on Tues­day to re­mem­ber its fallen heroes, re­tired ser­vice mem­bers and Pfc. De­nis Riley, who was killed in the line of duty in 1977.

“It’s of­ten­times we lose peo­ple we love that we re­mem­ber to cher­ish the times and how im­por­tant they’re to us in­di­vid­u­ally,” said Sher­iff Troy D. Berry (D). “We all are here to cel­e­brate the con­tri­bu­tions of those who are here with us phys­i­cally and those who are here in spirit.”

While some were seated and oth­ers stood, Berry im­plored those in at­ten­dance to re­mem­ber the con­tri­bu­tions of those who died. He said every­one ought to re­mem­ber their sac­ri­fices and their hard work which helped make the sher­iff’s of­fice what it is to­day.

At this year’s 2017 me­mo­rial wall cer­e­mony 11 peo­ple were hon­ored for their work, com­mit­ment and ded­i­ca­tion to the agency. Th­ese work­ers not only gave all they had to the agency but to the com­mu­nity in which they served.

“For those who re­tired, we say a job well done,” Berry said as he went on to thank the re­tirees for their years of ser­vice and

re­minded them that the CCSO will al­ways be there for them.

Re­tiree Cfc. Roger Fallin said, “To­day means a lot, with the fam­ily now, I have a place to show them and a cou­ple stones on the floor to let them know that I was a part of some­thing big.”

Fallin urged new re­cruits to be strong and be stern, urg­ing them to have lots of short term goals. With the in­crease in po­lice bru­tal­ity in­ci­dents and the lack of trust that civil­ians have to­wards the po­lice, Fallin said, “There needs to be more one-on-one train­ing, they need to de­velop bet­ter peo­ple skills, and of­fi­cers should learn to talk to peo­ple and not at them.”

Ac­cord­ing to Berry, the re­tired and fallen po­lice of­fi­cers will never be for­got­ten and their sac­ri­fices were not in vain be­cause they are re­mem­bered daily. One of the many ways in which the fallen po­lice of­fers and re­tirees are re­mem­bered is when one walks through the cen­ter of the main build­ing, vis­i­tors walk into what is called the ‘ring of honor,’ where pic­tures are dis­played with a brief sum­mary of that ser­vice woman’s or man’s bi­og­ra­phy. The CCSO con­tin­ues to add names to the me­mo­rial wall, both re­tirees and those fallen in the line of duty.

Berry ac­knowl­edges what is go­ing on na­tion­ally as it re­lates to com­mu­nity and po­lice re­la­tions, and said that at the sher­iff’s of­fice, they are more than just a law en­force­ment agency. They’re in­volved in Spe­cial Olympics and Christ­mas in April, among other com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties.

“We serve not just as law en­force­ment in­di­vid­u­als, we serve where there’s a need in our com­mu­nity. We’re more than just a po­lice de­part­ment,” Berry said.

Dur­ing the CCSO me­mo­rial wall cer­e­mony, the fam­ily mem­bers of the fallen of­fi­cer Riley placed a wreath near his name on the me­mo­rial wall. Riley was killed in an au­to­mo­bile crash at the in­ter­sec­tion of Route 228 and U.S. Route 301 in Wal­dorf on Jan. 11, 1977. As he was wait­ing for a traf­fic light to change, a trac­tor trailer fuel tanker skid­ded to a stop and over­turned on his pa­trol car, killing him in­stantly.

“This day is a happy mo­ment remembering my cousin, I’m happy that he’s not for­got­ten, he was a great of­fi­cer,” said Bon­nie Hufty, Riley’s cousin.

Wreaths were laid on be­half of Riley and all the fallen po­lice of­fi­cers. The CCSO hon­ored re­tirees Pfc. By­ron Flynn, Cpl. Calvin Roberts, Cfc. Roger Fallin, Eric Halvorsen, Pfc. Eric Leukhardt, M/Cpl. Wen­dell Wa­then, Su­san Rice, M/Sgt. Tracy Wil­liams, Cfc. Richard Allen, M/Cpl. Ron­ald Leu-

STAFF PHOTOS BY CERONE WHITE

Fam­ily of fallen Pfc. De­nis Riley along with Sher­iff Troy Berry walk hand in hand as they re­turn from lay­ing a wreath near Riley’s name on the me­mo­rial wall. Riley was killed in the line of duty in 1977.

Re­tirees em­brace each other while pos­ing with Charles County Sher­iff Troy Berry. Re­tirees were rec­og­nized for their years of ser­vice to the CCSO. From left, M/Cpl. Ron­ald Leukhardt, Cfc.Richard Allen, Berry, M/Sgt. Tracy Wil­liams and Cfc. Roger Fallin.

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