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Ceremony honors police

May 17, 2002|BY MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

As she has done so many times before at National Police Week ceremonies, Joan Kline received a flower, heard praises for her late husband's ultimate sacrifice nearly 27 years ago and wiped away a few tears Thursday.

"It's still hard even after all these years," she said.

A fleeing criminal took the life of off-duty Hagerstown City Police Patrolman Donald Kline during the Dec. 13, 1975, armed robbery of Kim's Corner on Mulberry Street.

His name and others who have died since are engraved on a monument on the south side of Burhans Boulevard headquarters where Thursday's ceremony honored all.

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"Every person who puts on a badge knows that each day may be his or her last," said Hagerstown Police Chief Arthur Smith as he addressed active and retired officers from city, county and state police and their families.

Also present were Hagerstown Mayor William M. Breichner, City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman and Councilwoman Penny May Nigh.

Three wreaths were laid at the monument and an officer played "Taps."

Following the solemn portion of the ceremony, Smith then presented commendations to officers and civilians for outstanding contributions during the past year.

Those honored were:

- Officers Tim Rossiter and Brenton Saur, and Sgt. Tim Wolford aided Hagerstown Fire Department in removing a man from the top of a four-story building in downtown Hagerstown last year.

- Officer Bradley Helman was honored for his apprehension of a bank robber on Aug. 18.

Smith said Helman was patrolling in the Dual Highway area when the call came out that a bank had been robbed near there. A few minutes later, Helman spotted a man jogging but noticed he was wearing work boots.

When Helman stopped to question the man, it became apparent he was the robbery suspect, Smith said. All the money was later recovered.

- Officer Todd Webster and Sgt. Curt Wood of the Street Crimes Unit were cited for their chase of a crime suspect on Sept. 26 in the 200 block of Jonathan Street where shots were fired by the fleeing man, Smith said.

- Alan Matheny and Michael Mooers, paramedics who volunteer with the county/city Special Response Team were recognized.

- Hagerstown Fire Police were honored for their service which frees up police at the scenes of crimes, fires and other events.

- Two private citizens, Stephen Heaton and Michael Rideout, were honored in absentia for their heroics in wrestling a razor away from a man who was holding it at his estranged girlfriend's throat last month along the Dual Highway.

- Lt. Jack Hall, Sgt. Paul Kifer, officers Shane Blankenship, Charles Coy III, Brett McKoy, Barbara Schroyer, Richard Wolfensberger, Wayne Zimmerer and K-9 officer Patricia Shantz were commended for their professional handling of an armed robbery of the players in an illegal card game in the first block of Summit Avenue in November.

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