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May 17, 2013

Photo Gallery, Story: Ceremony remembers fallen officers

NEW CASTLE — Last year there were 12.

This year, there are 13.

The law enforcement community paused Thursday to remember Lawrence County’s fallen officers in a ceremony outside the New Castle police station.

The occasion was particularly solemn with the loss of William J. “Jerry” McCarthy IV still fresh. McCarthy, a Shenango Township policeman and Lawrence County humane officer, was killed May 2 while on duty. His cruiser was hit by a car allegedly fleeing city police.

New Castle Police Chief Bobby Salem opened Thursday’s ceremony, titled, “A Tribute to Lawrence County’s ‘Thin Blue Line,’” by heralding McCarthy.

During McCarthy’s funeral, Salem said, “the outpouring of support renewed my faith in our community, and it is my belief that law enforcement has no rival when it comes to supporting each other in a tragedy.”

Lt. David Cumo read the roll call of officers from Lawrence County who have died in the line of duty, their respective departments and their end of watch:

•Frank C. Skidmore, New Castle police, Aug. 17, 1904

•Seeley L. Houk, Pennsylvania Game Commission, March 2, 1906

•Thomas Thomas, New Castle, March 27, 1913

•James Cucia, New Castle, May 2, 1918

•John W. Edwards, New Castle, Dec. 1, 1919

•Bernard McElroy, state police, Dec. 21, 1924

•Brady C. Paul, state police, Dec. 27, 1929

•Clarence Campbell, New Castle, May 23, 1932

•Albert J. Izzo, state police, June 13, 1979

•Tod C. Kelly, state police, Nov. 7, 2001

•K-9 Officer Chico, New Castle, June 4, 2011.

•William J. “Jerry” McCarthy, Shenango Township and Lawrence County, May 2, 2013.

Cumo also remembered New Castle officer Robert Lepore, who died July 26, 2008, from injuries sustained in an off-duty traffic accident.

Bagpiper Gary Hassan played as Chris Fabian, a New Castle corporal, and Perry Quahliero, Lawrence County’s sheriff, carried a wreath for the deceased officers.

Lawrence County District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa, giving the keynote address, said, “There is an old song that said, ‘All gave some and some gave all.’ This ceremony is to honor ... those men and women who gave their lives in the line of duty. The courage shown during those last few moments of their lives was not an unusual event, but a daily one. Each of you who wears the badge shows that same courage each and every day that you put on the uniform.”

Police chaplains Gary Crowe led prayer, Arthur Holloway read Scripture and Ron Eade gave the benediction.

National Police Week is being observed this week to remember officers who died in the line of duty. As a tribute prompted by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, public law designates May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day, when flags are flown at half staff.

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