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Stamford Police Remember Fallen Officers At Annual Ceremony

Stamford Police Capt. Bill Mullin, at right, and Capt. Brian McElligott, beside Mullin, salute during an annual memorial service for Stamford Police Officers who died while on duty. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
Three members of the honor guard stand while the memorial to fallen Stamford Police officers is in the foreground. An annual memorial service was held Thursday at the Stamford Police station for officers who died while on duty. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachen
Stamford Police honor guard members stand during the annual Stamford Police Memorial Day. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
Stamford Police Assistant Chief James Matheny, at left, and Officer Ryan McAllister, at right, scene through a wreath placed in memory of Stamford Police officers who died while on duty. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
Family members of fallen officers were present at the annual Stamford Police Memorial Day. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
William Sullivan of the Westchester Firefighters Pipe and Drums plays "Amazing Grace" during an annual police memorial for Stamford police officers who died while on duty. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

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."

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