Though no law enforcer in Connecticut lost his/or her life in the line of duty during the past year, a name was added to the memorial on the grounds of the Connecticut Police Academy in Meriden, during ceremonies May 19. The name is Officer Florence B. Sullivan of the Danbury Police Dept. The date of his death is listed at Sept. 8, 1896.
Danbury Police Officer Gary Guertin, while conducting research at the Danbury Museum and Historical Society, came across information that Mr. Sullivan, who was brutally beaten by five men, had died from injuries sustained while on duty. This was made clear when the local government compensated his family. Last November Danbury Chief Robert L. Paquette submitted Mr. Guertin’s findings to the Law Enforcement Memorial Committee which approved the request to add Mr. Sullivan’s name to the Roll of Honor.
During the program, Gov. Rowland paid tribute to Gov. (Ret.) Bill O’Neill. Speaking to the gathering of law enforcers, families and friends of law enforcers who lost their lives in the line of duty, the state’s chief executive declared, “Gov. Bill O’Neill is always here at this event. He is committed to the men and women in law enforcement. It is a passionate commitment. He shares their concerns and the concerns of their families.”
Looking in the direction of Mr. O’Neill, who was seated on the stage, Mr. Rowland said, “On behalf of the State of Connecticut, Gov. O’Neill, we thank you.” Mr. Rowland also hailed the late Chief State’s Atty. John M. Bailey, who died during the past year. The governor declared, “Each and every day Jack Bailey carried out his duties with a passion for justice and a compassion for people working in law enforcement and the judicial system.”
In his prepared remarks Mr. Rowland recalled visiting the site of the World Trade Center a few days after the terrorists’ attack. He expressed pride in the response of public service workers and other volunteers from Connecticut who, within hours of the collapse of the buildings, went to the site and joined in the effort to rescue people and later to recover bodies and remove rubble.
He noted that at that time throughout the country there was a genuine concern for one another which he said has dissipated. He expressed the hope that it would reemerge.
In conclusion Mr. Rowland emphasized that in Connecticut the men and women who devote their lives to protecting the lives and property of others and make the ultimate sacrifice are not forgotten.
Other speakers included Mr. O’Neill, Chief (Ret.) William Farrell, who is chairman of the Law Enforcement Foundation; Chief State’s Atty, Chris Morano; U.S. Atty. Kevin O’Connor; and Col. Edward J. Lynch, State Police commander.
Chief (Ret.) Robert Kosienski, Meriden Police Dept., was master of ceremonies and Rev. Edward Goetz, chaplain, Middletown Police Dept., delivered the invocation.