CARLISLE — It’s been 122 years since a late night in April when Carlisle Police Officer George Martin was shot and killed in the line of duty, but no one at the borough’s Police Department on Friday was about to forget him.
Martin was honored by Carlisle Police at a Peace Officers Memorial Day Ceremony that was attended by local dignitaries and his great-great-grandson William Morrison and great-great-great-grandson Andrew Morrison, both of Delaware.
“Without remembering, there is no sacrifice. The Bible says there is no greater love than a man laying down his life for his friends. Laying your life down for people you don’t even know is a whole different level,” said pastor Chuck Kish, who gave the program’s invocation.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy declared the May 15 of each year as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the day in which it falls as Police Week. Carlisle Mayor Timothy Scott read a proclamation declaring it as such in Carlisle.
Martin, who was only 26 and a married father at the time of his death, is the only Carlisle Police officer killed in the line duty. On April 8, 1893, he was shot on Chapel Alley by robbery suspect Charles Salyards, current Police Chief Stephen Margeson told the audience.
Salyards, a career criminal, was arrested in Winchester, Virginia, less than 48 hours later. He was hanged in the courtyard of the Cumberland County Prison on March 1, 1894.
William Morrison said he’s too many generations removed from the incident to feel genuine grief over Martin’s death. Instead, his “overwhelming emotion” is pride, he said.
“Besides pride, the other emotion that I feel today is empathy for others who have lost a family member in service,” said William Morrison, who grew up in Enola.
Margeson and Scott presented the Morrisons Friday with a Medal of Valor and a commemorative plaque honoring Martin.
“Without hesitation, police put their lives on the line every day. Too many Americans lose sight of the fact that there are George Martins of the world,” Margeson said, referring to recent negative incidents involving other police departments within the U.S.
Margeson said the borough decided to honor Martin after he was inducted last fall into the Cumberland County Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation. Scott and Margeson also recognized several current Carlisle Police at Friday’s ceremony:
- Cpl. Joshua Bucher – Officer of the Year 2010, 2011; Advanced Certification (DRE); Safe Driving; Educational Achievement; Physical Fitness; SRT.
- Officer Thomas Dolan – Good Conduct Award.
- Sgt. David Fones – Safe Driving Community Service.
- Officer Daniel Gibson – Educational Achievement (Bachelor).
- Cpl. Timothy Groller – Injury in the line of duty; Advanced Certificate (Less Lethal, Tasers, Firearms Instructor); Safe Driving; Good Conduct.
- Officer John Hanner – Perfect Attendance.
- Officer Scott Hertzler – Officer of the Year 2013; Field Training Officer; Educational Achievement (Bachelor).
- Cpl. Simon Jackson – Good Conduct Award.
- Officer Antanina Klinger – Life Saving Award; Military Service Award; Officer of the Year 2012; Advanced Certification (Defense Tactics); Community Policing/Tactical Shift.
- Officer Delbert Liller – Physical Fitness; Educational Achievement (Bachelor).
- Officer Christopher Miller – Educational Achievement.
- Officer Joshua Mulhollan – Officer of the Year 2014.
- Cpl. Brian Shull – Good Conduct Award.
- Officer Christopher Snyder – Educational Achievement; Physical Fitness.
- Officer Andrew Van Volkenburg – Good Conduct Award.