Police remember fallen officers, dedicate memorial

By: Cari DeLamielleure-Scott | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published April 23, 2014

 The West Bloomfield Police Fallen Officer Memorial was placed on the police campus in fall 2013 and will be dedicated May 2.

The West Bloomfield Police Fallen Officer Memorial was placed on the police campus in fall 2013 and will be dedicated May 2.

Photo by Cari DeLamielleure-Scott

WEST BLOOMFIELD — A memorial ceremony honoring Michigan law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty will be held at noon May 2 in front of the Police Department.

The service proceeds National Police Week May 11-17, for which events are held across the United States to honor fallen law enforcement officers. In addition to the memorial service, the West Bloomfield Police Department will dedicate the West Bloomfield Police Fallen Officer Memorial, which was placed on the Police Department campus in 2013.

“The memorial, even though Patrick (O’Rourke) is the only officer on there, it will be a memorial dedicated to all fallen officers in which we hope Patrick will be the only one,” said West Bloomfield officer Rick Trabulsy, event coordinator.

O’Rourke was killed in the line of duty Sept. 9, 2012.

The West Bloomfield Police Department will remember 16 officers who died while on duty since 2012, including two federal officers who died overseas and three officers who served outside of Michigan but are the sons or daughters of Michigan residents, Trabulsy said. The department will also acknowledge two K-9s.

“I think what’s been created on the police campus is a fitting memorial to the fallen officers who have given their lives for the people they have sworn to protect and service,” said West Bloomfield Lt. Curt Lawson.

Prior to the memorial dedication, 14-year-old Max Sawickyj, with the help of his fellow Boy Scouts in Troop 1699, based in Franklin, will be planting the landscaping around the memorial for his Eagle Scout project. The landscaping will include 18 Japanese boxwoods, 18 Karl Foerster feather reed grass plants and 24 carpet roses, which will be donated by The Home Depot in Commerce Township. Sawickyj is currently fundraising through a bottle and can drive to purchase additional equipment needed and crushed granite that will match the memorial stone.

“The point of doing an Eagle Scout project is to help out the community,” Sawickyj said. “Usually, other (Eagle Scout) projects are to help small things, but this is … honoring all the fallen officers.”

Sawickyj, who attends Groves High School in Birmingham, approached the West Bloomfield Police Department after hearing about the need for landscaping from a family friend. The work will be completed in time for the memorial dedication.

“When Max approached us, we were very excited about that because he’s bringing (the memorial) to completion, and we’re always happy to help out an Eagle Scout applicant,” Police Chief Michael Patton said.

This is the second Eagle Scout project that has been completed to benefit the West Bloomfield Police Department. Two years ago, the department unveiled the K-9 dog memorial, completed by Joshua Geary.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit will perform a flyover during the ceremony, and Seth Betman and Jared Grimes, seniors at West Bloomfield High School, will perform Taps. Township Supervisor Michele Economou Ureste will announce a board-approved proclamation, dubbing May 2 Law Enforcement Day in West Bloomfield.  

The Police Department asks attendees to park vehicles in the West Bloomfield Township Public Library or the Parks and Recreation Commission parking lots and to avoid parking at the police station or along the Civic Center roadway. The West Bloomfield Police Department is located at 4530 Walnut Lake Road in West Bloomfield.