Syracuse Police Department honors fallen officers at annual ceremony

Regional News

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — On Monday, the Syracuse Police Department held its annual wreath laying ceremony to honor officers who’ve died in the line of duty.

Members of the force, past and present, were joined by family members and the community at Forman Park in Syracuse to kick off National Police Week.

Since 1983, eleven officers have been killed while working for the Syracuse Police Department.

For former SPD Deputy Chief, Rebecca Thompson, October 30, 1990 is a that will always be with her. It’s the day her partner in blue, Officer Wallie Howard Jr., was killed in the line of duty by Bam Bam Thomas at a south side grocery store.

We worked together for several years while I was at the DEA taskforce. We were, unfortunately, working together on October 30 when he lost his life. We were friends. He was always the jokester, you know, we had a good bond. The group of us that all worked together had a very special bond.

REBECCA THOMPSON, FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF, SYRACUSE POLICE DEPARTMENT

There isn’t a day that goes by where Thompson doesn’t think of Wallie, his dedication, service and goal of making the community a better place.

“That’s what he strived to do and he gave his life doing it,” — Rebecca Thompson

She’s glad the community can remember him and the ten other fallen Syracuse police officers every year at the annual ceremony.

“Police go out every day and try to make the streets safer, peoples’ lives better. What they do, they do with the public in mind each day, and when officers give their lives in service to the community, it’s very important for the community to remember,” Thompson explained.

Remarks were made by Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, County Executive Ryan McMahon, Syracuse Police Chief Kenton Buckner and PBA President Joseph Moran.

We certainly always want to make sure that we keep in our minds and hearts those 11 individuals that paid the ultimate sacrifice for our city. 16:38 It is important that their families know that they have not been forgotten. 

Our officers, just like anybody else, they’re human beings. To be able to see that we had a good showing today. They may not say anything, but I can tell you, they appreciate that outpouring kind of support.

CHIEF KENTON BUCKNER, SYRACUSE POLICE DEPARTMENT

To remember the officers who made the ultimate sacrifice, there was a wreath-laying, moment of silence and bagpipes to honor those who never made it home.

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