…Event to Honor Police Fallen in Line of Duty Dec. 2

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Hazel Park Hosting Event to Honor Police Fallen in Line of Duty Dec. 2

(C. Proxmire, Nov. 29, 2014)waterwork

When Hazel Park Officer Jessica Nagle-Wilson went to a home on Jarvis in response to an animal not being on a leash, she had no way of knowing that a man would be waiting on his porch with a shotgun aimed to kill.

It was July 2002, and the 26-year-old officer had just gotten married two months before to a police officer from Detroit. Her murder touched the entire community, and in 2004 was part of the impetus for starting the Project Blue Light honorarium.

On Tuesday, December 2nd at 7:00 p.m., St. Justin’s Church in Hazel Park, 1600 E. Evelyn will be hosting a Project Blue Light public honorarium in tribute to the Law Enforcement Officers who have given their lives in the line ctechadof duty.

The event is an evening of remembrance, prayers and poems, bagpipes and drums, traditional honors, music and support.  The public is invited, including members of the law enforcement community, their families, friends, and supporters.

“We honor those who have fallen, remember those who have been left behind and support those who continue to protect our communities,” said Debbie Swofford, who is organizing this year’s event. “We will be joined Honor Guard Squads and uniformed officers from throughout southeast Michigan who will take part and participate in the program.

“Our Keynote Speaker this year will be Daniel R. Foley, retired K-9 Officer for the Wyandotte Police candlewickHOLIDAYDepartment. Dan was key in the development of that departments K-9 program, he has received National recognition for his work training Honor Guard Squads, and is himself a member of a State Honor Guard Squad. In February 2012 he was named Officer of the Month by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. He has spent his career and ‘retirement’ going above and beyond his duty as a police officer.”

This year there are two new deaths in the line of duty, one human and one canine. Correctional Officer Chad Charles of the Muskegon Correctional Facility died of a heart attack during a training exercise on May 21, 2014. K9 Officer Remi was killed on Jan 13, 2014 in an automobile accident near I-96 and Evergreen. She served as an explosives detection canine, charged with protecting the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Detroit Branch

seed14_chad_mattThe event was started by Donna Wudyka, who has been President of such organizations as  Michigan Concerns of Police Survivors and Living Legends. She is also a retired Detroit Police Officer and surviving co-worker. Swofford had been assisting Wudyka and has now this year taken the lead in organizing it.

Swofford is a member of the Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary Lodge #130 in Ferndale for approximately 25 years. and serves as Trustee for the Ferndale Auxiliary, President for the State Auxiliary and Trustee for the Grand Lodge (National) Auxiliary.

The Auxiliary is made up of family members of law enforcement officers of the Fraternal Order of Police. “Being an Auxiliary member is my way of supporting not only my family officer, but all law enforcement officers. It’s a way for me to give back and assist them in their endeavors, what matters to them, their families and communities,” she said.sidebar016grow

Swofford hopes people will feel welcome to join in the memorial. “Project Blue Light is a way for the community to get involved and to show their support for Law Enforcement Officers and Agencies, to be a part of the healing process for Survivors, and to share a special evening remembering those who have given their lives in the course of performing their duty,” she said.

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