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Patrolman George H. Martin knew Charles Salyards was dangerous, and unfortunately for him, he turned out to be right.

Martin was looking for Salyards in Carlisle on the evening of April 8, 1893, when someone pointed out Salyards to him. Salyards led Martin on a foot chase, eventually turning into an alley off of South Street and slowing down.

When Martin was just feet away, Salyards shot him through the heart and instantly killed him, according to a biography of Martin from the Cumberland County Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation.

He left behind his wife, Clara, and his daughter, Anna, who was born the previous year.

Carlisle Borough Police honored the memory of their only fallen officer during a ceremony Tuesday evening at the Carlisle Police Station on Lincoln Street. While Carlisle Police Chief Taro Landis hopes he never has to memorialize another officer, he told his officers during the ceremony that if something happened to them, they would not be forgotten.

“We need to make sure we never forget the officers who made the supreme sacrifice for their communities,” Landis said.

The ceremony dedicated a new plaque in Martin’s honor that now hangs in the lobby of the police station. It was also the opportunity to honor two living relatives of Martin from Mechanicsburg who only recently learned about the connection.

Corey Fuhrer, the great-great-grandnephew of Martin, was able to discover the connection through genealogical research and 1800s census records. His mother, Marjorie Fuhrer, said the ceremony was meaningful to her because other family members, include her grandfather, served as police officers.

“I think it’s wonderful … honoring any policeman for what they’ve chosen to do in life, which is look after the public,” she said. “Every day they put their life on the line for all of us.”

The plaque came about because of Darby Township Deputy Chief James Binns, who founded the Hero Plaque program for fallen police officers and firefighters. This was the 304th hero plaque to be created, Binns said.

The ceremony was attended by Carlisle police officers and borough council members, Mayor Tim Scott, and other police chiefs from around the county. Carlisle Police Sgt. David Miller said he feels a connection to Martin despite the time separating them.

“He was my great-grandfather in the police department,” Miller said. “We’re a family.”

“Every day they put their life on the line for all of us.” Marjorie Fuhrer

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Daniel Walmer covers public safety for The Sentinel. You can reach him by email at dwalmer@cumberlink.com or by phone at 717-218-0021.