BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan, members of the Maryland State Police and relatives gathered on Thursday to pay tribute to the 43 state troopers killed in the line of duty.
The ceremony also honors two troopers killed while serving in World War II and one fallen deputy state fire marshal.
“Now more than ever, it is critical that we come together to honor the faithfulness and the loyalty of all the brave, proud members of the thin blue line — those who run toward the danger and adversity when others run away.” Hogan said.
It’s been more than 100 years since the first officer with the Maryland State Police died in the line of duty. Officer John W. Jeffrey died Sept. 1, 1921 was killed when he skidded off the road on his motorcycle while pursuing a speeding motorist. He had only been with the Maryland State Police for two months.
The most recent was Trooper First Class Shaft S. Hunter, who died on May 21, 2011 when he crashed his patrol car into the back of a tractor trailer parked on the shoulder of I-95 in Howard County.
“It is believed that he was pursuing a speeding motorcycle when the collision occurred,” according to the agency’s website.
Hogan also acknowledged the families of the fallen troopers.
“So many of you here this morning have had to bear the profound grief and the unimaginable heartache of losing a spouse, a child, a parent, a brother or sister or someone you love,” he said.
Maryland State Police Superintendent Col. Woodrow W. Jones III became emotional discussing the circumstances of some of the deaths that occurred during his time with the agency.
“Today we remember and reflect on the lives the dedication to duty and the sacrifices of our fallen heroes,” he said. “Today we also recommit ourselves to the work set before us, the most important work of government — providing for the public safety.”