Peace Officer Memorial Day observed in Morgantown

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — As part of National Police Week, Morgantown and the Monongalia County community came together Wednesday for Peace Officer Memorial Day.

A formation of officers stood at attention while Monongalia County Commission President Sean Sikora read a proclamation recognizing the sacrifices of those who have lost their lives and conducted a wreath-laying. As the son of a Weirton police officer growing up, Sikora can relate to many of the struggles families face.

“I know personally what it’s like to be the ones at home, wondering if your father is going to come home and having somebody in your family that puts their life on the line every time they go out the door,” Sikora said.

In 2000, Morgantown Police Department veteran Patrolman Franklin M. Fadazzo died a day after a bicycle accident that occurred while he was training with the bicycle unit. In 2012, Monongalia Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Todd May was killed during a pursuit after being hit by a drunk driver.

“Our region and our area have been affected by it like every other agency,” Morgantown Police Department Chief Eric Powell said. “We’ve had our own losses, and we take one day a year to honor the fallen and recognize their service, dedication, and sacrifice.”

Morgantown Second Ward Councilor Bill Kawecki said he would prefer celebrating their unwavering support of communities, but the reality is that our safety comes with a price.

“What we’re doing is celebrating the sacrifices they have made as opposed to supporting the continued help they give our community,” Kawecki said.

Monongalia County Sheriff Perry Palmer said we can never forget the sacrifices of the men and women on the street, but we should discount the support system they have at home that makes it all possible.

“We thank the families that are with the law enforcement officer that they come home to and rely on to be their backbone so they can talk about things,” Palmer said. “It’s not an easy job, and it’s not an easy job for the families either.”