Pennsylvania Honors Fallen Officers in Annual Memorial Service

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HARRISBURG, PA — In a solemn ceremony held in the State Capitol Rotunda on Monday, the Pennsylvania State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police paid tribute to the officers who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their communities. The 29th annual memorial service recognized the lives and bravery of law enforcement personnel who died in the line of duty in 2023, a year that saw 136 federal, state, tribal, and local officers fall across the United States.

The Pennsylvania officers honored for their valor and dedication were Police Officer Charles Stipetich of the Oakdale Police Department, Chief Justin McIntire of the Brackenridge Police Department, Police Officer Sean Sluganski of the McKeesport Police Department, Sgt. Christopher D. Fitzgerald of the Temple University Police Department, Trooper Jacques Rougeau Jr. of the Pennsylvania State Police, and Sgt. Richard Carrero Mendez of the Philadelphia Police Department.

Governor Josh Shapiro, Attorney General Michelle Henry, and FOP President Joe Regan delivered heartfelt remarks during the ceremony, reflecting on the profound loss experienced by the commonwealth and the unwavering courage of those who serve and protect. The event also featured the presentation of a memorial wreath and resolutions from the General Assembly, symbolizing the collective mourning and respect of Pennsylvania’s legislators.

Families of the fallen officers were invited to place flowers at the wreath in memory of their loved ones. In a moving tribute, they were presented with medals of ultimate sacrifice, acknowledging the bravery and service of the officers to their communities.

Joe Regan, President of the PA FOP, emphasized the importance of the annual gathering, stating, “Each year, we honor the sacrifice of those who lost their lives in the line of duty. We gather to pay tribute to them and stand with the families and friends of these men who displayed bravery and courage to protect our communities each day.”

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The names of the honored officers will be added to the wall at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., further immortalizing their contributions and sacrifices. The memorial service coincides with National Police Week, a time dedicated to remembering and celebrating the lives of law enforcement officers across the country who have died or been disabled in the line of duty.

This annual memorial serves not only as a moment of reflection for the families of the fallen but also as a poignant reminder to the public of the dangers faced by law enforcement officers every day as they work to ensure the safety and security of our communities.

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