Allegheny Co. Sheriff Pens Letter Honoring Fallen Officers

Sheriff Mullen says it should be okay to talk about good police officers

Andrew Limberg
June 30, 2020 - 4:08 pm

    PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Allegheny County Sheriff William Mullen has released a letter calling on people to remember fallen officers who were killed in the line of duty and to not villainize them amid protests for police reform in the Pittsburgh area and around the country.

    In the letter, Mullen says he welcomes police reforms but that it should be offensive to speak positively of the good officers out there, especially those who have fallen in the line of duty and cannot defend their integrity.

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    16 law enforcement members have been killed in the line of duty since 2001.

    Read Sheriff Mullen’s full letter below:

    Proclamations demanding for war on law enforcement officers echo wide and deep across our country. As community leaders, stakeholders and citizens advocate for police reform, it is imperative all individuals know decent law enforcement agencies will welcome this opportunity for improvement and regularly amongst departments.

    Need for standardization, however does not vindicate the actions of specific police officers, most especially those in Minneapolis, responsible for brutality against citizens. Their heinous conduct cannot and should not be defended. But as a law enforcement representative who encourages reform and decries police violence, I must also take up for the 16 law enforcement heroes killed within the last twenty years, have been forgotten by many. Yet still the families of these men: mothers, fathers, siblings, spouses and children; must now watch as the reputation of all public safety officers is destroyed. Police survivor families live the sacrifice every day. Their loved ones have already proven their decency; left their legacies. Why must they now be disgraces? Especially when you consider the fact that in only one of these 16 killings did an officer initiate gunfire. Good police, such as the fallen law enforcement officers of our region, do not deserve to be desecrated due to the deplorable actions of bad cops.

    As the villainization of law enforcement officers proliferates, so must we increase the call to remember our fallen officers, who are no longer here to defend their integrity. Their deaths should have at least earned them as much. But it is now controversial, reckless and it seems even, to speak well of a law enforcement officer, especially in the media, even if that person died honorably. The rightful cries for the improvement of our law enforcement systems, which absolutely must be heard, understood and placed into well-constructed action, should not deafen, rewrite or disparage the individuals who died in the very name of peace. Alongside all victims of violence, their names deserve to be represented.

    Name                                         Department                            End of Watch

    Officer James Naim                 Aliquippa Police                      03/15/2001
    Trooper Joseph Sepp, Jr         PA State Police                          11/10/2002
    Corporal Joseph Pokorny, Jr. PA State Police                         12/12/2005
    Special Agent Samuel Hicks   FBI Pittsburgh Division            11/19/2008
    Officer Eric Kelly                        Pittsburgh Police                     04/04/2009
    Officer Stephen Mayhle           Pittsburgh Police                     04/04/2009
    Officer Paul Sciullo                   Pittsburgh Police                     04/04/2009
    Officer Michael Crawshaw      Penn Hills Police                     12/06/2009
    Trooper Paul Richey                 PA State Police                        01/13/2010
    Officer Derek Kotecki               Lower Burrell Police               10/12/2011
    Officer John Dwyer                   East Washington Police        12/18/2011
    Officer Lloyd Reed, Jr.              St. Clair Township                  11/28/2015
    Officer Scott Bashioum            Canonsburg Police                 11/10/2016
    Trooper Landon Weaver          PA State Police                       12/30/2016
    Officer Brian Shaw                     Ken Kensington Police          11/17/2017
    Officer Calvin Hall                       Pittsburgh Police                   07/17/2019
    * names reflect local law enforcement officers shot and killed in the line of duty. They do not include officers slain or wounded in motor vehicle and other job-related accidents or officers shot, wounded or paralyzed while on the job

    Please do not be mistaken. My message seeks to into no way to diminish or silence the information, beliefs, values, stories and emotions citizens want and need to express during this complex time. But just like at a recent demonstration in New Kensington, when protestors placed a wreath at the memorial of slain Officer Brian Shaw, the sacrifice of fallen law enforcement officers can, and should, remain worthy.