Elected Officials, members of the Law Enforcement Community and the public paid tribute to Police Officers who lost their lives in the line of duty in Cape May County at the Cape May County Law Enforcement Memorial Service on Monday, May 11, 2015. The annual service is hosted each year by the Cape May County Police Academy and the Cape May County Chiefs of Police Association at the county’s Public Safety Training Center during Law Enforcement Memorial Week.
Speakers at the Memorial Service included Congressman Frank LoBiondo, Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi, Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton, Vice-Director Leonard C. Desiderio, Sheriff Gary Schaffer, Prosecutor Robert L. Taylor and Chief William Mastriana of the Cape May County Chiefs of Police Association.
Additionally, the program included a Roll Call of the Fallen by Cadets of the Cape May County Police Academy, a presentation of wreaths ceremony by the Ocean City PBA, the Cape May County PBA and the Cape May County FOP while the Cape-Atlantic Police and Fire Irish Pipe Brigade played Amazing Grace. The 21 Gun Salute & Taps was provided by the United States Coast Guard Training Center Cape May’s Ceremonial Detail and Colors were presented by the Cape May County Color Guard.
The Law Enforcement Officers from Cape May County who paid the ultimate sacrifice are Officer Harry E. Shore, Ocean City Police Department, Chief Philip DeSantis, Woodbine Borough Police Department, Officer Michael Cullinane, Sr., Sea Isle City Police Department, Officer David C. Douglass, Sr., Lower Township Police Department, Officer Eugene Miglio, Wildwood Crest Police Department and Trooper Bertram Zimmerman, New Jersey State Police Troop “A” Tactical Patrol Unit.
Vice-Director Leonard C. Desiderio said, "This annual memorial service is very important since we honor our Cape May County heroes. We recognize that there is no greater purpose in life than serving and protecting one's community. And there is no greater honor than having the courage to sacrifice one's life in fulfilling this purpose."
In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls, as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.