Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Dangers of Hurricanes

Twenty-three law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty as the direct results of hurricanes or their aftermath. One of the most deadly hurricanes for law enforcement struck Texas almost 100 years ago.

The Hurricane of 1919 claimed the lives of Police Officer L.B. Prater of the Corpus Christi Police Department, and Captain Joe Williams and Game Warden Harry Raymond or the Texas Game, Fish, and Oyster Commission.

We will never forgot the sacrifices officers make who stay behind during evacuations, facing hurricanes and other natural disasters head-on:

Storm of 1900
Police Officer Samuel Eugene Tovrea ~ Galveston Police Department, TX

Hurricane of 1919
Captain Joe Williams ~ Texas Game, Fish, and Oyster Commission
Game Warden Harry Raymond ~ Texas Game, Fish, and Oyster Commission
Police Officer L. B. Prater ~ Corpus Christi Police Department, TX

Hurricane Barbara (1953)
Police Officer Talbot Barrow ~ Norfolk County Police Department, VA

Hurricane Carol (1954)
Trooper Daniel L. O'Brien ~ Rhode Island State Police

Hurricane Dianne (1955)
Patrol Officer Billie D. Ellis ~ Princeton Township Police Department, NJ

Hurricane Donna (1960)
Trooper Donald A. Strand ~ New York State Police

Hurricane Betsy (1965)
Auxiliary Captain Owen Bender ~ Florida Highway Patrol

Hurricane Beulah (1967)
Border Patrol Inspector Elgar Holliday ~ United States Border Patrol

Hurricane Agnes (1972)
Officer Gordon Hufnagle ~ Lewisburg Police Department, PA
Police Officer Leo Paul Van Winkle ~ Philadelphia Police Department, PA

Tropical Storm Davis (1979)
Patrolman Alvin Williams ~ Woodbridge Police Department, NJ

Tropical Storm Isabel (1985)
Policeman Herminio Lopez-Pilar ~ Puerto Rico Police Department
Policeman Homero Ortiz-Martinez ~ Puerto Rico Police Department
Sergeant Francisco Diaz-Melendez ~ Puerto Rico Police Department
Policeman Pedro Burgos-Lacourt ~ Puerto Rico Police Department

Hurricane George (1998)
Aviation Supervisor Pedro Jose Rodriguez-Franco ~ United States Customs Service
Agent Pablo Alvarez-CarriĆ³n ~ Puerto Rico Police Department

Hurricane Ivan (2004)
Police Officer Matt Rittenhouse ~ Harriman Police Department, TN

Hurricane Rita (2005)
Chief of Police Dion Rastus Nelson, Sr. ~ York Police Department, AL

Hurricane Katrina (2005)
Deputy Sheriff Gary Frederick Labenz ~ Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, AZ
Police Officer Christopher John Doyle, III ~ New Orleans Police Department, LA

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Oldest Serving Lawmen Killed In the Line of Duty

Constable Ross Potter
On August 19, 2011, Carter County, Tennessee, Constable Ross Potter passed away from injuries he sustained in an on-duty automobile accident two weeks earlier. Constable Potter had served an amazing 29-years in law enforcement and was absolutely loved by the members of his community, as can be read in the Reflections left on his memorial.

One of the most amazing things about Constable Potter is that he was still serving his community at the age of 81 when he died in the line of duty. In fact, only one other actively serving law enforcement officer who has been killed in the line of duty was older than him.

Today we recognize the four octagenarian law enforcement officers who have fallen in the line of duty: *

Town Sergeant John Smith, 83
Foster Police Department, Rhode Island
EOW:  June 21, 1832

Chief of Police Taylor Walker, 81
Adairville Police Department, Kentucky
EOW: September 10, 1939

Constable Ross Potter, 81
Carter County Sixth District Constable's Office, Tennessee
EOW: August 19, 2011

Night Marshal Alexander Sutton, 80
Waynesville Police Department, Missouri
EOW: June 25, 1952

* Chief of Police Franklin Culp, of the Fostoria (Ohio) Police Department died at the age of 84 from gunshot wounds he sustained in the line of duty 16 years earlier, at the age of 68.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Order Your ODMP Memorial Baton

ODMP Memorial Batons are carefully hand-crafted to-order from the finest Mexican Cocobolo wood available on the world market. Known for its beauty, tradition and rarity, each Cocobolo blank is handpicked for both color and figure. Batons are approximately 23.75" long and 1.3" in diameter. Heat branded, each hand-made baton features the officer's initials and last name (16 character max) and end of watch date on the grip, ODMP logo on the grip end, and is provided with a custom "ODMP Memorial Blue" top-grain leather lanyard. Finished with two-coats of hand-rubbed shellac, wax, and oil for a smooth, high-gloss finish, each baton is available in Select and Premier grades.

The accompany display is engraved with the officer's name, agency, and end of watch date. ODMP Memorial Batons are ideal for displaying in your department or to be presented to a friend or loved one of a fallen hero.

Each baton is hand-made by Drew MacDonald, a medically retired police officer, and owner of SheepDog Woodworks.

ODMP-exclusive blue leather lanyard are affixed to all ODMP Memorial Batons.

Each baton's grip is heat branded with your officer's name and EOW.

Only the best and most beautiful Mexican Cocobolo wood is selected for the Memorial Batons.

The ODMP logo is branded onto the base of each baton.

From Blank to Baton: The making of an ODMP Memorial Baton:

About SheepDog Woodworks
SheepDog Woodworks owner/operator Drew MacDonald joined the rank and file of a large Washington, DC, metro area police department in 1999. He established himself early in his career as being a tenacious student of the profession. He was highly regarded among peers and superiors, and was routinely described as "the one you wanted with you on the big one" - always first through the door as both an officer and supervisor.

Drew was forced to medically retire in 2009 as the result of a duty-related injury incurred when he was the first officer on scene following one of the "DC Sniper" shootings in 2002.

SheepDog Woodworks produces only the finest hand-crafted wood products for the law enforcement community. Visit for a complete line of products.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Blue Knights NC XIII Ride for ODMP and Wounded Warriors

The ODMP would like to recognize the members of Blue Knights NC Chapter XIII for their support!

Members of NC Chapter XIII recently held a charity motorcycle ride that doubled as a fundraiser for the Officer Down Memorial Page and the Wounded Warriors Project, raising more than $4,000 for the two organizations.

Lt. Al Ferguson, of the High Point (NC) Police Department, represented the ODMP in accepting the check in front of the Cumberland County Fallen Officers Memorial (the ODMP helped with researching the cases of a few of the deputies and officers now honored on the memorial).

(L-R): Chaplain Bill McCoy, Tom Sisk, Director (BK NC XIII) Maurice Parker, Lt. Al Ferguson, President (BK NC XIII) Mike Brown
If your organization would like to hold a similar fundraiser, please contact ODMP's Executive Director Chris Cosgriff.