350 attend law enforcement memorial event in Augusta

Posted May 19, 2011, at 2:03 p.m.
Last modified May 19, 2011, at 8:36 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage honored Maine’s law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty on Thursday at the Augusta Armory during the annual Maine Law Enforcement Officers Service.

More than 350 people, including uniformed police, legislators and civilians, attended the memorial service.

LePage delivered the keynote address.

 “Today, we honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice by putting their lives on the line for the safety and protection of others. Let us not forget our fallen officers’ sacrifice and their dedication to public service which has made Maine a better place for all of us.”

The event was moved from the Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial near the State House indoors to the State Armory on Western Avenue because of heavy rain. It was the 20th annual police memorial service.

The service featured the laying of a wreath, the reading of all 83 names etched onto the memorial, and recognition of Game Warden pilot Daryl Gordon, who died on March 24 in a plane crash.

“Daryl was respectful and kind, a devoted warden and a gentleman who served with purpose and commitment to not only his family and Rita, the love of his life, but to all of you present in uniform,” said Col. Joel Wilkinson of the Maine Warden Service. “He served his country as a Marine in Vietnam and served his state as a state law enforcement officer with honor, compassion, trust and loyalty; the four core values that best represent the finest traditions that the law enforcement profession is known for.”

LePage added, “During his 25 years of service Daryl touched the lives of countless families as a search and rescue pilot bringing lost loved ones back to safety. He will be remembered for his untiring dedication and service to our state. It is my sincere wish that we do not have to add any more names to this wall.”

Other speakers included retired Chief Robert Schwartz, executive director of the Maine Chiefs of Police Association; South Portland Police Department Police Chief Edward Googins; and Maine Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Morris.

The Maine Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial was dedicated on May 25, 1991.

A list of the names engraved on the memorial can be found at www.maine.gov/dps/cim/crime_in_maine/dedication.html.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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