STAMFORD, Conn. -- In a solemn ceremony, Stamford Police held a memorial service Thursday afternoon in front of the police station to remember their comrades who died while on duty.
Assistant Police Chief James Matheny thanked family members of two fallen officers who were in attendance at the memorial.
"We can never repay you for lost birthday wishes, lost anniversaries and lost time together,” he said to the families of Officers George Kelley and David Troy. “We can never repay you for the gift of sacrifice your loved one gave to us all.”
The event is held annually during Police Week.
Troy was shot dead while chasing a suspected robber in 1960. Charlotte Nelson, whose mother was a sister-in-law of Troy, has fond memories of him and said the loss was devastating for family members.
“He was very close to the family and we all adored him,” she said. “It was a tough time for the family.”
Another shooting death, an inadvertent one during the chaos of a liquor store robbery, claimed the life of William McNamara, 31, on Dec. 18, 1973. He died after he was mistakenly shot by a fellow officer.
George Kelley, 39, and Andrew Schlechtweg, 41, were killed in separate motorcycle accidents in 1938. Kelley died on July 8, while Schlechtweg died May 26.
Late Stamford police Officer Marcia Stella’s name was also read during the memorial. She was injured while breaking up a fight between two girls on Nov. 1, 2003, at a city school. She injured her neck and shoulder, ruptured several vertebrae and suffered a torn rotator cuff. Stella, then 32 and a 10-year veteran at the time, died Feb. 3, 2008, as a result of her injuries, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial website. The information on the other officers was also on the website for the memorial, which is in Washington, D.C.
Stamford's Public Safety Director Ted Jankowski praised the city's police officers for their dedication.
"Police officers are heroes who risk their lives every day to keep our families and our communities safe," he said. "Today we are again reminded of the frailty of life and the potential of great evil."