Just one week after hundreds of officers were in Wilmington for the funeral of a state trooper shot to death April 26, Wilmington police held a memorial service for officers who have died in the line of duty.
Friday morning, members of the Wilmington Police Department gathered once again on the steps of the city’s public safety building. They took time to memorialize those who have lost their life in the line of duty.
“Today we recognize the sacrifices made by the men and women of law enforcement, including 11 of our own who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty,” Wilmington Police Sgt. Andrea Janvier said. “When we lose officers, we don’t just lose patrols and badge numbers, we lose mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, neighbors and friends. We lose a piece of our community and we owe it to them to never forget.”
During Friday’s ceremony, Wilmington officers unveiled a monument engraved with the names of city firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty.
“What we do cannot be taken for granted,” Sr. Cpl. Michael Coleman said. “Every day that you go out there, you leave your loved ones at home, you hope that you return. And it’s a brotherhood, a sisterhood, and we’re all real people.”
Many of these officers were involved in last Friday’s funeral service for Cpl. Stephen Ballard at the Chase Center on the Riverfront. About 2,500 officers from Delaware and 35 other states, including California and New Mexico, paid tribute to Ballard. The 32-year-old trooper was struck down by a gunman in the parking lot of a Wawa on U.S. 40 in Bear.
In addition to Cpl. Ballard’s death, earlier this year Delaware’s law enforcement community mourned the death of correctional Lt. Steven Floyd. Floyd was killed in a February prison uprising at the Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna.
“Some will lay down their life as we carry out our duties. We will not forget them, but dutifully continue to serve in the face of sacrifice,” Coleman said. “At WPD, we will continue to carry on this tradition today, tomorrow, and for all the days to come.”