Last Thursday evening, the Marlborough Police Department held their annual Blue Light Ceremony in front of the Police Station to honor the officers who were killed in the line of duty during the past year.
Marlborough Officer Curt Fulton noted that as of December 3, 2020 a total of 254 officers in the U.S. were killed in the line of duty but just four days later, that number jumped to 274. He said gunfire was the cause of 43 deaths, vehicle crashes/incidents killed another 47 officers and 184 additional officers died from other causes, such as 911-related cancers, medical or from the covid-19 virus.
Fulton showed a number of slides filled with pictures of many officers who were killed this year, culminating with a picture of Officer Cassie Johnson. She was shot in the face on December 1 at about 2:30 p.m. as she responded to a parking complaint on Garrison Avenue in Charleston, West Virginia. She was able to return fire that wounded the subject, who was arrested nearby and accused of the shooting.
Officer Johnson was transported to the Charleston Area Medical Center where she remained on life support until December 3 so that her organs could be donated. She was just 28 years old.
Officer Johnson had served the Charleston Police Department for two years and had previously served as a city humane officer for two years.
Officer Fulton said the ceremony was held outside the entrance of the Marlborough Police Department and was properly social distanced and this year without refreshments as has been a tradition. Fulton said the ceremony was attended by about 30 community and police members from the Town of Lloyd Police Department.
“Five ornaments were hung on our tree in memory of the five New York State Officer deaths in 2020. Pastor David Stein led us into the ceremony with a prayer for officers everywhere as well as here in Marlborough and Lloyd, for safety in these trying times,” he said.
According to statistics reported to the FBI, 89 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2019. Of these, 48 officers died as a result of felonious acts, and 41 officers died in accidents.
The average age of the officers who were feloniously killed was 40 years old. The victim officers had served in law enforcement for an average of 13 years at the times of the fatal incidents. Of the 48 officers: 45 were male; 3 were female; 40 were White; 7 were Black/African American; 1 was Asian.