The Wheeling Police Department’s annual Law Enforcement Memorial gathered the community on Wednesday evening to remember men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Wheeling Police have lost nine officers in the line of duty since the department’s formation in 1806. All of them were honored at the service as well as two other police officers from the region who died in 2017.
As each name was read aloud, a bell tolled, reminding those in attendance of the sacrifice each officer made to protect and serve the community.
“I’m grateful for the support of the community and of other law enforcement agencies in the region,” said Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger. “It means a lot to me personally and professionally to recognize all of the officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.”
More than 20,000 officers have been killed in the line of duty since 1791, and all are remembered during National Police Week.
“One is two many. 20,000 is sobering,” said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia, William J. Powell. “As you’ve also heard West Virginia has had over 200 since we became a state.”
Family of some of the Wheeling Police Officers were in attendance and say this helps their loved ones memory live on.
“It’s an honor to have the Chief and the Wheeling Police Department to remember the fallen heroes and that’s why we’re here,” said Sam Daccione, family of fallen Patrolman James Robert Wolfe. “We support our local police and we appreciate everything that they do for us.”
Prayer and song united the group in remembrance, and thanks for the protection officers provide.
“We get to know each other and it’s a brotherhood across state and county lines and it just means a lot that they’re here as well and we can come together for such a noble purpose,” said Chief Schwertfeger:
Fallen officers honored at the memorial were:
Ptlm. John P. Brady – Wheeling Police Department
Ptlm. Joseph Glenn – Wheeling Police Department
Ptlm. Salavia C. “Lafe” Bowen – Wheeling Police Department
Ptlm. Henry Carl Seamon – Wheeling Police Department
Ptlm. Herman Henry Bartles – Wheeling Police Department
Ptlm. Ray Melvin Lazear – Wheeling Police Department
Ptlm. Charles Ulrich “Bud” Brunhaus – Wheeling Police Department
Ptlm. James Robert Wolfe – Wheeling Police Department
Ptlm. James Reiter Bailey – Wheeling Police Department
Lt. Aaron Lloyd Crook – Bluefield, W.Va. Police Department
Officer Brian David Shaw – New Kensington, PA Police Department