Thursday, November 11, 2010

Honoring Veterans Who Died as LEOs

On this very special day, Veteran's Day, all of the staff and volunteers here at the ODMP would like to thank all U.S. military veterans across the world for their selfless service in protecting our safety and defending America from our enemies.

Throughout American law enforcement history there has been a very strong connection between the military and civilian law enforcement. It is a natural progression for service members to transition out of the military into a para-military organization like as a police department or sheriff's office. In fact, many agencies - particularly federal agencies - now give preferential treatment to veterans in the hiring process.

Officer Ryan Bonaminio
Unfortunately, many of these American heroes who pinned on a badge after getting out of the service have been killed in the line of duty protecting America's streets. Just five days ago, on Sunday, November 7, Police Officer Ryan Bonaminio was shot and killed while serving with the Riverside, California, Police Department. Officer Bonaminio had survived not only one, but two, tours of duty during Operation Iraqi Freedom only to be taken from us by a thug who had stolen a vehicle. In fact, veterans from just about every war - from the Revolutionary War to the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan - have been killed in the line of duty while serving as law enforcement officers.

Although we don't track military service specifically in our database (partially due to incomplete records submitted to the ODMP), we know of almost 1,000 veterans who have been killed in the line of duty as law enforcement officers. I would estimate the actual number to be at least twice, and possibly three or four times this. There are too many fallen veteran to list here, but I have picked a few randomly who represent all veterans from all periods in America's history who died serving their country as law enforcement officers.

I thank these men and women for their service, for making America great, and for ensuring our children and grandchildren will continue to live in the greatest country in the world:

Sheriff Robert Maxwell
Greenville County Sheriff's Office, SC
Revolutionary War

Captain John Bird
Texas Rangers
War of 1812

Police Officer Alexander Algeo
New Orleans Police Department
Mexican-American War

Captain John McKinstry
Mattoon Police Department, IL
Civil War, USA, P.O.W.

Guard Supra C. Woodroof
Virginia Department of Corrections
Civil War, CSA

Captain James Meehan
Franklin Police Department, PA
Spanish-American War

City Marshal Albert Suverkrubbe
Fort Calhoun Police Department, NE

Police Officer Wallace Chapman
Philadelphia Police Department

Investigative Aide John McAuliffe
United States Postal Inspection Service
Korean War

Police Officer Joseph Zanella
Verona Police Department, PA
Vietnam War

Police Officer Nick-Tomasito Birco
San Francisco Police Department, CA
Gulf War

Trooper David J. Lane
New York State Police
War on Terror, Iraq & Afghanistan